In many cases, self-esteem and domestic violence go hand in hand. Low self-esteem can be brought on by a variety of factors, and can be a serious issue for women who are victims of domestic violence. If victims of domestic violence have low self-esteem, it can cause them to stay in an abusive relationship which can lead to serious injuries and even death.
Women with low self-esteem feel that they cannot do better than the situation they are in, which makes them far less likely to leave than a woman who has high self-esteem and can stand up for herself. Domestic violence offenders tend to prey on women who have low self-esteem, realizing that the victim will want and need them no matter what they do. It is a self-esteem issue that is compounded by fear that makes victims believe that they cannot make it alone without their batterer.
Offenders are very aware of this and use it to their advantage. If an abuser feels that his partner is becoming more empowered to leave, he will turn on the charm to convince the victim that he actually does love her, then take something away from her to control and dominate her. That something could be the victim’s right to money or privacy, or any number of other rights. He may tell the victim that she is nothing compared to him, causing the victim to feel vulnerable and afraid.
Women dealing with domestic violence need to remember that they are not alone. Friends and family members of victims should provide ongoing reminders that they can get out of the situation and lead a normal life. Victims need support to feel empowered to live a life free of violence. Every victim of domestic violence needs to remember that it does not matter how small and vulnerable your attacker makes you feel. You are worth more and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
Also, because of the connection between self-esteem and domestic violence, it is critical to teach children about self-esteem. In order to help prevent domestic violence in future generations, children need to understand if what they are feeling is healthy, and learn positive ways to feel better about themselves.