You stay because despair is a self sustaining beast. You start believing the foul words that are heaped upon you in daily doses, the physical abuse becomes an extension of the verbal. It becomes a little more incidious every single day. I spent 19 years in a relationship like this, I have been 16 years free. It is very hard, VERY HARD to believe you are worth it when you have been so thoroughly and systematically torn down. Abusers know there craft, they learned it well at the hands of another, what we need to do is to break the cycle. Oscar Pistorius, Ray Rice and so many more are very public cases of men behaving badly. We as a society have perpetrated and tolerated this behavior since the dawn of time. It doesn’t start with an isolated incident here or there, it starts in homes, it’s tolerated in schools and by the time these children reach adulthood the patterns have been set. Where do we start to change this? We start from day one, we reach out and support families in need, we demonstrate to children that compassion, love and empathy are greater conquerors than violence and hate. It starts with us all, right now in this very moment. Every act of kindness multiplies and expands outward. Children need to be reached, taught and shown that love not violence is the way, the only way!