One big question always arises when someone hears that a wife has endured beatings for months or even years: Why didn't she leave him? These are among the dozens of reasons such victims have given AMEND:

"They love him.

"They fear him, believing him to be almost omnipotent.

"She may be economically dependent on him and sees no real alternative.

"Religious and cultural beliefs.

"Often he is her only support system psychologically.

"For the sake of the children needing a father.

"Law enforcement and judicial authorities often do not take wife-battering seriously.

"Often the men are otherwise highly respected and mild-mannered.

"She often believes his reasoning, e.g., that she 'deserved' the punishment or that he was just too drunk to know what he was doing.

"She may have lived in a home where her father beat her mother, and accepts it as natural.

"Fear, even terror of loneliness.

"Social stigma -- she may be embarrassed to admit it.

"The husband might lose his job, the family's only source of income.

"Motivated by pity and compassion," they "are convinced that they alone can help their man."

Psychologist Robert LaCrosse thinks it is fallacious for a wife "to think she can control abuse. Don't play games," he advises. Don't tell yourself, "If I bake him a pie, he won't hit me tonight."