CARSON CITY, Nev., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Why do women stay in abusive relationships? First-time author Josee Perrine, M.A. MFT, believes she has the definitive answer in her new book, "The Saber-Toothed Tiger: The One Reason Women Stay With Abusive Men."
In a 2004 nationwide poll*, 43 percent of respondents believed abused women stay in their relationships out of fear that the abuser will find them; another 28 percent thought that access to the abuser's income was the reason these women remain.
When asked themselves, abused women's most frequent response is low self-esteem. But, Perrine insists, "There is only one underlying reason why women are attracted to and remain with abusers: Loneliness."
Perrine is a marriage and family therapist who also teaches a course in family interaction at the University of Nevada, Reno. She investigates loneliness from its source as a primary emotion rooted in the human need for survival to its effect on women today who experience loneliness in a visceral, wrenching way.
Such loneliness is primitive and terrifying, which is why Perrine personifies it as a saber-toothed tiger. This type of extreme loneliness first affects a young woman's relationship with her parents. As an adult, she then passes her unresolved feelings of loneliness and need for connection on to her children.
Contrary to popular belief, then, she hasn't learned to accept abuse because she witnessed it as a child. Instead, her daughters will inherit her fear of being alone, which may lead them into their own abusive relationships.
"This is not a book about placing blame on women, parents or families," Perrine says. "It's also not about hating men. This book is to help women understand what has happened to them from childhood, how pervasive loneliness drives their behavior to engage with particular men, how to get out of an abusive relationship, and how to have healthy relationships in the future."
Perrine gives her readers exercises to help them heal from their dread of loneliness and begin looking toward a future released from the pain and fear of childhood.
Although the book contains research information, it is written in a style that is intended for the layperson - the women who are in or have left an abusive situation and want to discover why they stayed or continue to choose abusive men, as well as the therapists who counsel such women.
*Allstate Foundation Nationwide Poll 2004. Source: The National Domestic Hotline, http://www.ndvh.org
Published by iUniverse Hardcover and paperback 176 pages ISBN-10: 145020077X ISBN-13: 978-1450200776 $15.95 retail price Available at Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com
About the Author
Josee Perrine, M.A. MFT, is a marriage and family therapist who earned a bachelor of arts in Psychology and a master of arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she now teaches a course in family interaction. She says her education allowed her to work with abused women and discover the shared phenomenon of loneliness that results in women staying in abusive situations.
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