Many nights I have found myself pleading with women who have been the victims of domestic assaults to do two things. First, be willing to follow through with pressing charges against the man so that he will face some type of justice through the courts. Even then, often times this is much too lenient when it does happen. Second, make the decision to cut all ties with the man and leave him (I use the word “man” in the physical sense only). These pleas almost always result in failure and I simply wait for the next 911 call a week later. The abuse continues to grow worse.
Why? Why do women subject themselves to this type of treatment day after day? Doug Wilson in his book Reforming Marriage gets to the heart of it. The problem is one of a woman’s need for emotional security. While I am trying to help her get out of physical danger she is only thinking of staying with someone who will provide for her emotional security.
When I was a small boy, our family visited some friends of my parents. When we were driving home, my father mentioned to my mother that their friends were going to have serious problems when their daughter grew older- problems with men. He said this because as soon as he sat down in their home, their young daughter was all over him. Sadly, his prophecy was fulfilled. If a strange man comes into a home and a little girl who is hungry for affection climbs on his lap, something is seriously wrong. The girl has a big vacuum in her life- a need for masculine attention- that is not being filled by her father. When she enters adolescence, she will suddenly discover that she now has a commodity with which she can bargain, and she will be tempted to begin to use it. This is because she still has a need for the security, and a void that still needs to be filled with masculine attention. Now all of a sudden men are voluntarily paying attention to her. Before, as a little girl, she was a nuisance chasing after men, but now they are coming to her. Of course they are after one thing, and she is after another. They consequently make an exchange that makes neither one of them truly happy (95).