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Article

Stay or Leave Abusive Dating Relationships: Portuguese Victims’ Reasons and Barriers

1
Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
2
Permanent Observatory Violence and Crime (OPVC), University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
3
Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies (CIEG), Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lisbon (ISCSP-UL), 1300-663 Lisboa, Portugal
4
Faculty of Science and Technology, University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
5
UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(5), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050084
Received: 30 April 2020 / Revised: 7 May 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 15 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaving a Violent Relationship)
The decision to stay or leave an abusive relationship is multifactorial and frequently involves a cyclic process involving several phases. This article presents a qualitative analysis regarding the reasons and barriers to stay or leave an abusive dating relationship, as well as the challenges that it implies. A semi-structured, in-depth interview was used to collect data from thirteen dating victims, aged 17–30 years and mainly female (n = 12). The emotional and affective dependence of the partner and the belief that behaviour may change emerge as the main reasons presented by the victims to remain in an abusive relationship. Shame, fear of losing the partner, and failure to recognize the abusive relationship were reported as the main barriers to leave the abusive relationship, thus making it difficult to seek help. Understanding reasons to stay in, or barriers to leave, an abusive relationship is fundamental to promoting help-seeking behaviours in victims of dating violence (DV), particularly in the case of young people, since it has serious implications in the developmental pathway of this age group. View Full-Text
Keywords: dating violence (DV); victims of dating violence; young people; leave abusive relationships; stay in abusive relationships; help-seeking dating violence (DV); victims of dating violence; young people; leave abusive relationships; stay in abusive relationships; help-seeking
MDPI and ACS Style

Caridade, S.; Pinheiro, I.; Dinis, M.A.P. Stay or Leave Abusive Dating Relationships: Portuguese Victims’ Reasons and Barriers. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050084

AMA Style

Caridade S, Pinheiro I, Dinis MAP. Stay or Leave Abusive Dating Relationships: Portuguese Victims’ Reasons and Barriers. Social Sciences. 2020; 9(5):84. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050084

Chicago/Turabian Style

Caridade, Sónia, Inês Pinheiro, and Maria A.P. Dinis 2020. "Stay or Leave Abusive Dating Relationships: Portuguese Victims’ Reasons and Barriers" Social Sciences 9, no. 5: 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050084

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