By Margaret C. Jasper

Most people think abused women are weak, controlled, and without self-esteem. But that description does not apply to all, maybe not even most. Many women who are abused, physically or emotionally, are actually extremely strong women. They withstand the abuse because of an over-abundance of sympathy for their abuser...trying to understand what terrible pain this person must have endured in their life that made them behave this way.

And, with this strength, selflessness, and the strong will it takes to offer unconditional love to this person who abuses them, they endure the abuse hoping that showing such love and forgiveness to this person will somehow change them.

But after so many unsuccessful attempts which such women endure because of their inner strength, their fortitude and a kind heart, they suffer the emotional realization that some people are so damaged, they are unable to change.

Some women suffer the fatal consequences of their unwillingness to give up. And those who survive are often too embarrassed to come forward, not because of weakness or fear, but because they failed, which is a difficult concept for these women to accept.

But, to be sure, an abused woman is not weak, but often too strong for her own good.