Nebraska College Preparatory Academy


Date of this Version


Document Type



Nebraska College Preparatory Academy Senior Capstone Project, Spring 2021


Copyright © 2021 Nayla G. Torres Ruiz


Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, social status, or sexual orientation. A phenomenon known as learned helplessness may play a role in why victims of domestic violence remain in those unsafe environments. Learned helplessness (LH) is a psychological trait, which results from repeated exposure to uncontrollable and aversive events. LH contributes to submissiveness and reluctance to leave an abusive relationship. LH can develop from childhood experiences and circumstances, such as controlling, authoritarian, and demanding parents. LH can also develop during adulthood and whilst in abusive relationships, as the victims are often led to believe by the perpetrators that they deserve such treatment and are “lucky” to have someone who stays with them and puts up with their many flaws.