The most frequently asked question remains: Why didn’t she leave? Judges ask it, juries deliberate it, people watching the nightly news consider it. Although psychologists and many police departments have better training in domestic violence (Raghavan says mental health professionals are “light years” ahead of where they were 50 years ago), the question shows the rest of us don’t. “Leaving does not stop the violence and may in fact make it more likely that she and/or her children will get killed,” Walker says. “The real question is, ‘Why doesn’t he let her go?’”
If you think about it, the article is right on the money. Shelters for Abused Women are very conscious about their anonymity and have every reason for being that way. We have read many cases in which former partners go after their ex-mates long after the relationship is over with the intention of kill or maim.
I cannot begin to imagine the mental pressure that an abused woman carries with her every day; thinking that either there is no point on leaving because he will chaser her and kill her or abandoning him and living with the constant fear of suddenly facing a very irate and possibly very deadly person has to be an incredible burden. And double or quadruple the load if children are in the middle.
So besides all the avoidance tools and help already in place, I think that having the ultimate tool for defense in-extremis is not only necessary but almost mandatory. So yes, to leaving the bastard, yes to hiding and sheltering, yes to restraining orders and any kind of legal maneuvers to keep him at bay, yes to smart tactics of avoidance, but in the end, when everything else fails, she is gonna need that final game changer that will either make the Ex change his mind or stop him from being a threat forever.
And yes, using deadly force against an abusive partner may be one added trauma and she might need help to recover from it, but she will be alive to do so.