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Abusive Relationships

Updated on August 17, 2015
Victim of Abuse
Victim of Abuse | Source

Be Led By The Conscious Mind Not The Heart

Are You A Victim of Learned Helplessness?

Are you currently a victim of domestic violence, and have you been thinking a long time ago about leaving this abusive relationship, but just can't seem to find the courage to leave? understandably, some people are just too scared for their lives or the lives of their children, which makes it difficult for them to leave. However, there are others who have the choice of leaving but choose to remain in these relationships. If you happen to be one of the latter individuals, it's possibly that you are a victim of "learned helplessness". For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term "Learned Helplessness", in brief, it's a term that was first introduced by psychologists after observing the behavior of animals( how animals react in certain situation).

Learned Helplessness - The Experiment

To demonstrate a state of of "learned helplessness", animal behavior specialists conducted an experiment in which dogs were used as subjects. Dogs were placed in an enclosed area with no route of escape. Electrical shocks were then administered to these animals. Each time the shocks were delivered, they would try to escape the torture, but could not, because there was no exit point. Overtime, they made no further attempt to escape, because they had soon come to realize there was no way out of this unpleasant situation.

Eventually, the gates were left opened - Now they were given the choice of staying and endure the torture, or escaping, the next time the shocks were delivered. However, surprisingly, when the next dosage of electricity was delivered to these animals, they did not make the slightest attempt to escape, instead, they just stood there and bore the punishment!

To summarize, after several attempts were made to escape from an unpleasant situation or experience, the dogs quit trying, because they had become accustomed to the constant torturing and eventually came to accept the unpleasant experience as a way of life - something they have no control over, and therefore, had to live with it.

This can be applied to most abusive relationships where the the party who has been the victim of physical abuse, emotional abuse or psychological abuse, refuses to walk away from the relationship. In cases where the victims of abuse are women, an alarming amount of these women are usually either scared for their lives or simply have no intention of leaving the abusive relationship. Even though they had several opportunities to leave, they continue to remain in these abusive relationships, hoping that one day the physical abuse or emotional abuse will end. However, ever so often, the abuse or battering, cheating, and the mistreatment continues until one party ended up dead or seriously injured; which in most cases, it's usually the woman!


My advice to you ladies and gentlemen, please don't accept these abnormal behaviors as a normal phase or part of your relationship. Be very vigilant! Remember human-beings are creatures of habits. Once we develop habits it's hard to break them! keep observing the initial signs that might lead to an abusive relationship. It usually begins with the verbal or psychological abuse then escalates into physical abuse and possible death. Don't just sit there and remain helpless or become desensitized to the daily abuses. Don't become a victim of "learned helplessness"!


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    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks for your comment NotSoPerfect. Human-beings are creatures of habits,as a result,once we allow certain abnormal behaviors to continue occurring without challenging them,we are sending a message that it's okay for the abuser in this case, to continue these behaviors. No sooner, these behaviors will become habitual.

    • NotSoPerfect profile image

      NotSoPerfect 6 years ago from United States

      Some women won't leave til the bitter end. Sad, but is usually the case. Hope this helps someone out there. Good hub. Thanks for writing. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 7 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks for your comment miss Wright. Just saying what's on my mind. Hate to see a man takes advantage of a woman and vice-versa.

    • N.E. Wright profile image

      N.E. Wright 7 years ago from Bronx, NY

      Wow, Mackyl, this Hub is useful, and hopefully helpful to those that are being abused.

      Thanks for sharing this Hub about a very important topic.