The definition of domestic violence is the verbal, physical, or emotional abuse from one partner to another. Domestic violence is an issue that is looked upon as a recent dilemma in society when in reality the situation has been around forever. It has been stated that domestic violence is a problem that cannot be changed. Domestic violence is the leading cause of death for women each year yet people still feel there is nothing to be done to help. Questions like why doesn't the women leave the abuser and how could someone let their partner abuse them damper the severity this issue deserves. In Elaine Weiss's book Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free, twelve stories give the reasons why women stay with an abusive spouse and should answer the question of how you could let someone abuse you. Dr. Weiss along with eleven other women share their stories of abuse and the fight to rise above the abuse. .
Why don't they just leave? This question is haunting to anybody who has been in a domestic violence situation. It also is the first section in Dr. Weiss's book. Judy North, a school teacher, Mandy Winchester, a house wife, and Dr. Weiss herself share their stories of abuse and how they came upon leaving their abusers. The three women came from good upbringings and would not be labeled as women who would be abused. Judy North hid the emotional and physical abuse from her coworkers and family. Her abusive husband pulled her away from her family to control her. She was being abused in the late sixties and when her boss, the principal of her elementary school, heard Judy tell her story in his office he immediately did what he felt was the best for her. He called Judy's mother, who wasn't on good terms with her daughter because of Judy's husband, and told her to take Judy to a therapist for help. The therapist told Judy to fight back and stand up for herself. She was told to threaten him right back by grabbing his arm and saying she would slash his tire.