Stop Telling Women to “Just Leave”

Have you ever told a woman to "just leave" an abusive man? It's time to re-think that suggestion.

Stop Telling Women to “Just Leave”

“Why don’t women just leave!”

The million dollar question. Why do women stay with men who abuse them, who harm them and their children and pets. Men who threaten to kill them, who smash their belongings, steal their money, isolate them, men who drink all day every day and gamble.


The question doesn’t really deserve an answer, it’s so old and boring, all it deserves is a raised eyebrow and some redirection. WHY ARE MEN DOING THOSE THINGS TO WOMEN? Furthermore why is the onus on WOMEN to leave, instead of on men to simply act like decent human beings?

The following is a list of women who left. So let’s all sing their praises …..  posthumously.


Christine McFadden, a veterinarian, left her husband and divorced him. Her ex husband, John Hogan, then murdered her four teenaged children. Now before we leap to conclusions about why she had children with him, why she didn’t act to protect them and so on and so forth, a news report on the story states:

“McFadden said her ex-husband was never physically abusive to the kids or her. He would sometimes lose his temper over small things, flare-ups that were marked by Hogan yelling and screaming profanities, but not demonstrating physical violence.”


Alessandra De Moraes-Emiliano was murdered at her place of work by her ex husband Richard Kalecki. Leaving wasn’t the solution people might have expected when:

“He entered the main entrance and walked into the rear of the store where he committed the murder,” reported one of the investigators on the case in a news report.

A young woman, Kristy Treloar, mother to a 26 day old baby was stabbed to death by her ex boyfriend Myles Williams. He had previously kidnapped her, held her against her will for weeks on end, stalked her, sent up to 90 text messages in a day, threatened to kill her by stabbing her …… and then he did just that. What made Kristy’s story stand out was Myles’ New Year’s Resolution never to hurt her again “if you don’t piss me off” and within hours she was stabbed to death in front of family members (who were also stabbed). He then dragged Kristy from the house whilst her helpless, bleeding relatives watched on, and dumped her body by wheelie bins.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Yeats commented in a BBC news report that:

“Kirsty’s murder was the result of her simply not wishing to see him that day.” They had separated, she didn’t want to see him, so  he murdered her.”

28yr old Shoshane Rattigan was shot in the head by her ex boyfriend, the father of her 6yr old son. Her son was present in the house but did not witness the murder as he was asleep in another room.

In a CBS New York news report it was stated that police had made a number of visits to the apartment for domestic violence, but the murderer had never been arrested. Neighbours state that there was often fighting in the apartment. Shoshane ended the relationship …… Tyrone Lowe, her ex boyfriend, was found dead a week after committing the murder. He had taken his own life as well.  In a New York Times piece, neighbours state that they live in a safe neighbourhood. Although clearly it’s safer if you’re not intending to break up with a murderer.

In what could only be heralded as an extremely lucky escape, Maureen Dowling was poisoned by her ex husband (four years after leaving) William Dowling aged 69. William chose what might be described sarcastically as “an unusual approach to rekindling their relationship”. He put mercury in Maureen’s tea, so that she would become ill, with the intention of nursing her back to health. Maureen was not harmed because she saw the mercury floating in her tea.


Vincenza Avino was shot dead by her ex boyfriend Nunzio Annunziata barely three months after he was arrested for stalking her. After the arrest he was released and placed on house arrest, which lasted for all of thirteen days before he was asked politely to leave Ms Avino alone and released from house arrest.

The Italian Insider reported that:

“The gunman then got out of the car and dragged her body onto the pavement, subsequently fleeing with her purse. After fleeing, he used the phone to contact the lady’s relatives, making death threats against them.”

House arrest wouldn’t have stopped any of this, but releasing him from house arrest shows just how seriously courts take stalking.

After a violent relationship, 22yr old Nadia Ezaldein ended things with Marcus Dee, on the day she was admitted to hospital following a violent assault in which he put a gun in her mouth. Dee stalked and threatened her throughout their 13 month relationship, and it didn’t stop when she ended it. He shot her on her 22nd birthday.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, the victim’s sister comented:

“It is the worst situation ever. Our sister came up to visit her in Chicago from Florida. We made dinner. We were supposed to have fun. She’s the smartest person I know. She didn’t deserve to die.”

After Mitsue Hayakawa ended a relationship with Toshinobu Sato, he proceeded to stalk and threaten her for months. She reported him to the police five times but no action was taken as the detective claimed that Ms Hayakawa did not want “to turn him into a criminal”. Presumably she just wanted him to stop stalking her, and surely that was entirely reasonable on her part!

Japan Today reports that:

“The detective in charge contacted Sato, urging him to reflect on his conduct, but this only worsened the harassment. In early March, Sato battered Hayakawa, stalked her at her workplace, and told acquaintances he would ‘definitely kill her.’ ” He was telling the truth.

40 year old Valerie Morrow was shot dead in her home by her ex boyfriend Stephen Rozniakowski. He also shot her 15 year old daughter, but she survived. Ms Morrow had served Rozniakowski (a police officer) with a restraining order that afternoon. Stephen Rozniakowski has been charged with 75 counts of stalking and was known for having previously stalked another woman as well.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan stated in an interview with Daily News staff writer:

“Bridget [15 year old daughter] fled into her bedroom, while, unfortunately, her mother lay dying in the hallway,”

Kelsey Annese and her new boyfriend Matthew Hutchinson, were both stabbed by Kelsey’s ex boyfriend Colin Kingston, when he arrived at her home and discovered that Matthew was there.

The Mirror quoted Geneseo Police Officer Jeffrey Szczesniak in an interview stating that Kingston had called his father moments before stabbing himself to death with a large knife that was recovered at the scene.

“he murdered his girlfriend…and he’s also going to kill himself,” his father said in a call to emergency services.

Brittany Engstrom was due to testify against her former fiance, David Driscoll, in a case where he was accused of four counts of “aggravated sex abuse of a child” (we might just call it what it is: CHILD RAPE). He shot her dead the day before the court case was due to begin. After the shooting he entered into a standoff with police.

Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon stated in an interview with the Deseret News that:

“A hearing would bring up all the testimonies (of the alleged victims). Driscoll may have cracked under the pressure of hearing that kind of stuff.” Hopefully someone is playing the world’s smallest violin in his honour.

Suzanne Bardzell was hacked to death by a machete wielding madman, or her ex boyfriend Arthur Lomando, a former police officer only hours before he hurled himself in front of a moving train.

People reports that he filed a $50million law suit against New York transit authority after losing both his feet that day. What an entrepreneur ….. or something.

Contact the women below and offer them some praise.

Valerie Jaskson, her new husband, and her six children were murdered by her ex husband David Ray Conley. Valerie had once dubbed him “the best father in the world”.

Cindy Gambino suffered the loss of her three young children when her ex husband Robert Farquharson, drove into a dam and left her sons to drown. he was having a contact visit on Father’s Day.

Rosie Batty lost her son Luke after his father Greg Anderson, Ms Batty’s former husband, murdered him in a public setting.

“I have joined a club that nobody else wants to join” she remarked. And she is so right that we should hang our heads in shame. If the best advice we can give women is “just leave” we’re not doing terribly well are we.

How many women are being murdered after leaving? How many children? We may never know, because many cases are simply reported as missing people, and many don’t make the news.

Experts in domestic violence – or MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST FEMALE GIRLFRIENDS, FIANCES, WIVES AND CHILDREN – state that the most dangerous time for a woman is the first six months after separation, but as we can clearly see from just the few stories here, many women experience violence after that period too.

According to a fact sheet released by The Domestic Violence Intervention Program:

“Leaving a battering partner may be the most dangerous time in that relationship. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship.”

And yet still people pressure women to leave. Are they insane!? Does anyone really still believe that leaving abusers stops the abuse? Perhaps if you’ve been living on Mars for the last thirty-five years it’s reasonable, but if you’ve had your feet firmly planted on this little green and blue planet, it’s time to play ketchup.

We will probably never be able to prevent every murder by violent, controlling former partners but we can sure do some things to make it safer for women to leave and crucially, more dangerous for men who repeatedly threaten and abuse. Even for men who just do it once …. but we know most of them do it more than that. Ons study showed that on average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before she contacts the police to make her first report.

Police from one side of the globe to the other clearly need a complete re-education. We can see this from their actions – or INactions – and by their statements, as well as when we tally up the number of male police officers who are themselves violent abusers who murder women.

An article in The Conversation regarding the violence committed by male police against female intimate partners and former partners states:

“Studies from the US suggest that police officers may be two to four times more likely to abuse their partners. The US data dates back to between 1991 and 2006 and the studies’ methodology is flawed. But the flaw in those studies – the reliance on officers to self-report their violence – makes it likely that the problem is under-reported rather than exaggerated.”

We need a multi faceted approach to protect women and children from the insidious plague of male violence within the home, but one thing is for sure: Unless you are personally prepared to stand up in court and say “I told her to leave, and when she did, he murdered her”, unless that’s the legacy you want to live with for the rest of your life, unless you want to explain it to her children, or care for any pets that are left behind ….. shut up. Just shut the hell up. No one cares what you think anymore, the world is moving past your victim blaming blindness. We’re ready for some solutions now, and you’re proving to just be more of the same old problem.






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