We marry dreaming of "happily-ever-after." But sadly, 25% of all women in the US (and a significant % of men) find themselves in an abusive marriage or partnership. And when that occurs, most are in denial.
Homelife: Shattered Dreams.
It's hard to admit, and take action, when abuse happens. Why? It's difficult to believe we lovingly chose someone who could hurt us in so many unforeseen ways. We think abuse is something that happens to others. And, since it usually happens so gradually, we question its reality. There is no billboard announcing: "You now are in a domestic violence situation".
Simply put, abuse is about power and control, and generally the perpetrator is very cunning. Abuse happens in many obvious ways, such as yelling, threats, verbal put-downs, and bodily harm. It also happens in subtle ways such as stonewalling and withholding money. It may only happen behind closed doors, which creates an additional challenge -- especially if the abuser is a successful, charismatic figure (think Bill Cosby).