This piece addresses the issue of domestic abuse against women and those who identify as women against the backdrop of a Valentine’s Day dinner. As a woman who has lived experience of domestic abuse and is an ambassador for a domestic abuse charity, I am asked regularly by people why women remain with their abusers, why they don’t leave when the abuse starts and why they remain when the abuse escalates. The key point of this is the control that the abuser has over their victim and that control involves a lot of psychological abuse and gaslighting and the use of fear against the person they claim to love. During these lockdowns, there has been a huge increase in the number’s of domestic abuse cases and the Scottish Parliament has provided additional funding to support charities to deliver their life saving and life changing services to victims and their families. Despite this, there is still a lot of ignorance surrounding why women remain with their abusers. Every woman thinks they would be an exception but when you are in that position, as this piece shows, it’s not so easy and sometimes survival, not liberation, is all you can achieve.