The major obstacle to intervention in abusive relationships is often the abused person, according to the Taipei City Government Department of Health.
In reaction to the case of Chang Yen-wen (張彥文), a National Taiwan University student who was recently indicted in the fatal stabbing of his former girlfriend in September, the department said Taipei residents should be cautious when ending relationships.
Tung Hsiu-chu (董秀珠), director of the social work unit at the Songde branch of Taipei City Hospital, said that people who have what she described as “an anxious-reliant temperament” are easily upset by any hint of losing love, leading to controlling behaviors including violence and rape.
She cited a case in which a man allegedly sought to forcibly impregnate his girlfriend to keep her from leaving him.
She added that many abusive relationships are a “two-person tango,” in which the abused accept inappropriate behavior to at least some extent, albeit often out of mistaken fears.
Even as the recipients of abuse desire to escape, they fear the consequences of angering their partner so much that they become unwilling to seek help or allow official intervention, she said.
The department urged people to speak with friends and family members about their relationships and be prepared to seek help if their partner behaves inappropriately.
It is wisest to end a relationship in a public space, particularly avoiding “pocket rooms” with only one exit, it added.
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