In this guest column, UTMB’s Jeff Temple, a psychologist and domestic violence researcher, addressed how abused women (and men) are faced with numerous barriers that make it incredibly difficult to leave a partner. “Leaving any relationship requires a great deal of strength and support. Unfortunately, nearly all women in physically violent relationships also are being emotionally and verbally abused. This might include severe criticism (‘you’re stupid’ or ‘worthless’), name calling, alienation from social support and any kind of threatening behavior. So just when an abused woman needs the strength and support to leave her violent partner, she finds it’s been stripped away from the months or years of psychological abuse. Perhaps, not surprisingly, leaving an abusive relationship also is a dangerous time for women, as the violence often increases in severity and lethality, and occasionally results in intimate partner homicide. Keeping this in mind, we need to change the question — not ‘Why does she stay?’ but ‘How can she find the courage to leave?’ and work to prevent the widespread problem of partner violence from beginning in the first place.”