I have to log in and comment here. Let me say that first off as a survivor and I do mean survivor of domestic abuse of the worst kind. My ex husband nearly killed me before and even after I left that staying in a domestic violence situation is often not a choice.
First off they break you down from the moment they enter your life. You dont know when it happens because its a blitz attack and then a gradual tearing a way. You dont have a thought that doesnt pertain to them and their needs. You arent you anymore. You are doing everything in your power to hold off that person from becoming violent. You dont sleep and when you do sleep your waiting for them to wake up and hoping that if they are violent that you can get to the door fast enough to avoid the worst.
Next the isolation happens, if it hasnt from the moment he met you. He tears you away from friends, family, and anyone else thats close to you. Anyone who might be able to talk sense into you or tell what kind of person he is. Even if you think for a moment that you might want to leave, where do you run too? Often he has alienated all your friends and family.
Case in point. I left my ex husband after a very severe beating, he then called me while I was at the shelter and was sitting outside my parents house with a shotgun, along with a gas can, threatening to shoot my parents, siblings and then burn the house to the ground. What do you think I did? Call the police? No because knowing him, the police wouldnt have gotten there in time and my parents and siblings would be dead. I came back to him because I couldnt bear the thought of him taking out his rage on anyone else. I didnt go back because I wanted to, I went back because he would have killed them and I couldnt take that on top of everything else I was dealing with.
Often times they will hold your children hostage with threats. During a court ordered visitation my ex husband drugged our children, called me and told me they were dead and he was just waiting on me to show up. Had he left them unharmed I would have bargained my life for them. When I did call the police, he used them in a hostage stand off. That was after we split up. Do you know what it was like before we split?
If I was one minute late from work I couldnt guarantee that he wouldnt take his rage out on them. Luckily he never hurt them til after we split and he lost all rights to them.
So someone telling me that I needed to get some self respect and get myself out of that situation was not helpful. It wasnt tough love, it just reinforced that I was helpless.
By The Way my attorney and even the military police have told me that if my ex should come near me, do not hesitate to defend myself because he isnt your garden variety abuser, he is a sociopath as well as a drug abuser, if I dont get him he will likely take me out even though its been five years and Im remarried.