Why do most victims of domestic violence end up in subsequent abusive relationships?

Anecdotally, there are stories about women who pick one bad man after the other. For some people, this supports the idea of a "victim mentality," a pattern where, if not most, victims of domestic violence just end up in another abusive relationship. Very often people do seem to marry the same person in a different body in subsequent marriages.

What may happen is that a victim’s subsequent marriage is a rebound relationship, one overburdened with unsolved problems from the previous marriage.

Overall, however, the victim mentality theory can be used to rationalize a dangerous domestic situation. In effect, it says, "She made the same mistake again." This is incorrect. Some victims may become involved with other partners who later begin to abuse them, but there is no evidence at all that the majority of victims end up in another abusive relationship.