There are many forms of abuse; emotional, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse (and some books specifically site social, financial, religious/spiritual abuse as well), which people suffer at different times of their lives by perpetrators they know and usually trust. This could happen throughout childhood and/or in adulthood. When it occurs in adulthood between intimate partners, it is called “domestic violence”. Of course, the children of that household then become victims as well. The perpetrator (referred to as a male) needs/exercises power and control over his victims. He may control them by restricting who they can see, when they can leave their house, how much money they can spend, and imposes ridiculous expectations and then insults them and punishes them for not being able to meet those expectations.

There is a cycle of violence that has 4 stages: “tension/violence building” → explosion/violent incident” → honeymoon” → “back to normal” → and back again to tension building. Each phase of the cycle can last anywhere from several months to just a few days. Most often the victim needs to leave the relationship without any chance of saving the relationship; it’s more about saving her life and her sanity. There is help for the perpetrator as well, but very few are willing to admit they have a problem and refuse to get any help. Statistically, most victims leave and return 7 to 8 times before they leave for good. Most victims tolerate the emotional and verbal abuse much longer than sexual or physical abuse.