This thesis project is a long-form human interest journalistic piece that focuses on why educated, professional women stay in abusive relationships. It opens with a personal story and also draws on interviews with female victims, as well as research studies. Women stay in abusive relationships for many reasons, among them: denial, family history, shame, financial concerns, and fear of the broken home. The root of all of these is the sameâ€”low self-esteem. This lack of self-confidence and self-respect creates feelings of powerlessness and helplessness that makes a woman vulnerable to abusive men who influence her thought processes.