Dating a woman who has been abused

After a video surfaced of football player Ray Rice punching out his then-fiancée Janay in an elevator, domestic violence has been at the forefront of the national conversation.When the couple married, many asked, "Why would she stay with him?"We live in an age where there's so much technology and so much access to media that we're able to hear those stories of the husband who killed his wife and kids.

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An abuser may initially be charismatic and caring before slowly starting to wear away at your self-esteem by criticizing you, implying you simply aren't good enough, and isolating you from family and friends.

Then, it's less shocking and harder to leave when verbal abuse begins, or when it segues into physical abuse.

Even though I've been out of the relationship for three years, I feel like I'm still sitting there,'" Ray-Jones says.

"It really has long-term impacts on a woman, and it takes a really long time to heal from." While still common, incidences of domestic violence, along with other crimes, have decreased significantly since the mid-'90s.

Abusers may also push your sexual boundaries by coercing, pressuring, threatening, or intimidating you into unwanted sexual activity, or even sexually assaulting you.

And reproductive coercion — tampering with your birth control or pressuring you to get pregnant — is another common abuse tactic, with 1 in 3 women in relationships with abusers also experiencing reproductive abuse, and 1 in 8 women who aren't in relationships with abusive partners reporting such coercion. If someone abuses you, it's an obvious decision to leave the relationship.

" Twitter answered back with #Why IStayed and #Why ILeft, in which survivors shared their stories of why they remained in abusive relationships and why they eventually got out.

Yet misconceptions persist — that abuse is a private matter, that women who stay with abusive partners are simply weak-willed, that women are just as abusive as men. One in four women, and 1 in 7 men, will experience relationship violence in their lives.

And even the stats we have are just for physical violence, and don't take verbal and emotional abuse into account.

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