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Abuse can be emotional, psychological, verbal, and sexual, and often escalates.
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.
When the couple married, many asked, "Why would she stay with him?
We know in domestic violence relationships there are a lot of threats made — 'I'm gonna take the kids, I'm gonna hurt you.' Women know that isn't an empty threat." Instead of asking why women don't leave, we should make it easier for them to do so."We need to have the resources out there to make it easier for women to leave," Kaminsky says.
"Imagine if the discussion were framed around that, instead of, 'Well, she's a free agent, she can do what she wants.' We have over 10,000 cases a year coming into the Brooklyn DA's office.
Police can sometimes be insensitive or even hostile to abuse victims, and making a police report can set into motion a series of events that a victim finds confusing and disempowering, or that lead to more violence.
"A lot of domestic violence victims think, I know him and I'm the only one who can really navigate this, and if I involve law enforcement they could never keep me safe," Kaminsky says.