Why It’s So Difficult To Leave An Abusive Relationship

Part 2 of my conversation with Dr Erica Bowen. You can access Part 1 here.

All around the world, domestic violence rates have skyrocketed where ever there were lockdowns. For many of those women, they’ve lived with physical and verbal abuse for years. The question is: why do they stay? Why don’t they just leave? And what can we do for people who are in abusive relationships? How do we support them?

A friend of mine has been completely open and honest about how her relationship with her ex was verbally, and occasionally physically, abusive, discussing the impact that it had on her with her online followers. So, imagine my surprise when she announced that she was going to re-marry her ex.

I needed to get my head round this because to me, in no world was this okay. Why, after all the things she’s told us about what happened in their marriage, would she even consider getting back into a relationship with him? And she’s not the only one who does this, so how does this work?

Dr Erica Bowen has spent more than 20 years studying abusive relationships and working with victims of domestic violence. Here, she shares some of her wisdom as to why people stay in abusive relationships, why it’s so difficult to escape them and why society needs to change from the ground up if we’re to stop this from happening.
NOTE: This is Part 2 of the interview with Dr Bowen. You can access Part 1 here.
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Today's Guest: Dr Erica Bowen

Psychologist, Coach and Imagineer of The Hope-Makers

As a Registered Forensic and Coaching Psychologist, Hope-Makers are who I work with and provide services for. If you are a social entrepreneur, sole trader, run a small, limited company with a social purpose, or a charitable business, then I’m here for you. My mission is to help you increase your impact in the world but at the same time keep you sane, and help you protect yourself against burnout.


My professional journey began 20 years ago when I became an academic psychologist working in the field of family violence prevention. In the last 20 years I have created evidence-based interventions, provided consultancy to the English and Scottish governments on behaviour-change programmes, and led international, national, and local research programmes focusing on service development and evaluation.

In 2020, after a successful academic career I left my role as Professor to pursue my own business – The Hope-Makers. I am fuelled by a desire to make the world a better place and know that by supporting you to do the same we can achieve this together. Every element of The Hope-Makers is an expression of this mission.

Through Hope-Makers Coaching (CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO FIND OUT MORE) I bring together these strands of experience into innovative individual and small-group coaching programmes that are evidence-based and combine solution-focused, cognitive behavioural and havening** techniques.

The Hope-Makers Podcast shines a light on incredible stories of how overcoming personal challenges led purpose-driven professionals to connect with their deeper purpose and turn it into a business.

The Hope-Makers Forum is an exclusive membership community through which I provide peer support, coaching, networking and business master-mind opportunities on a monthly basis.

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