Why does a woman forgive the man who mistreats her?
¿How many battered women can forgive their abuser and again? This question has multiple answers, most of them very studied already from psychology, sociology and other disciplines.
The reason is deeply linked to the education received from women throughout history, the secondary role imposed by society over the years and the shadow of this behavior "marked in the cultural DNA". But there are also some reasons closely linked to behavioral learning, which have a clear and obvious cognitive explanation.
- Related article: "The 7 types of gender violence (and characteristics)"
Battered women who forgive: learned helplessness
Today, so that we understand a little better why certain Behaviors carried out by women victims of sexist mistreatment , we will explain one of the many reasons why a woman may not respond to a situation of abuse, as most of us think we would do. We speak of Learned Helplessness.
The helplessness learned in a battered woman is nothing more than an alteration in the cognitive function of the woman that generates a passive behavior before a series of events that she perceives as uncontrollable .
This makes it very difficult for battered women to find optimal ways to end a violent relationship, mainly because their cognitive function of attention is focused on staying alive.
A person learn not to defend when it believes convincingly that fighting against this situation of abuse will not succeed in stopping the aggressions of the other. Therefore, the woman stops trying to stop that situation and unconsciously creates coping strategies to live "safely" within that situation of abuse.
When a woman suffers from learned helplessness, their behavior is based on reducing the pain, but not stopping the aggressions , because he feels that the cause of the events are totally external to his control, and since he can not do anything to stop that situation, he simply waits for it to happen.
- Related article: "Learned helplessness: delving into the psychology of the victim"
The role of attribution style
One of the risk factors of learned helplessness are attributional styles. These determine the way in which we usually give an explanation to the different things that happen around us. Generally people with a positive attributional style tend to appreciate the medium as predictable or controllable. This sense of control makes us maintain our level of self-esteem.
However, people with learned helplessness, as we have commented, they have a negative attributional style , perceiving the situations that surround him as unpredictable and uncontrollable, thus seeing his self-esteem undervalued.
People who are in this situation underestimate the degree of control they actually have.
The emotional repercussions
On the other hand, the consequences of learned helplessness, among others, are negative emotional states that are characterized by high levels of anxiety, depression , frustration, lack of confidence in their abilities, lack of initiative, demotivation, negativity, social isolation, etc.
To a woman (and a man) never and under no circumstances likes to be subjected in a situation of abuse . This premise is evident and must prevail over any value judgment that we can make, however much the situation may seem incomprehensible to us. There is always a reason why you live in that kind of toxic relationship.