Life is a (personal) journey.
Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.
Our lives are for the most part the end result of the choices (we've) made along the way.
There is no getting around the above statements. One of the reasons abusive relationships will always be with us is because no one can think or make decisions for another person! It is nearly impossible to protect people from themselves!
We also cannot dictate their preferences or their mate selection criteria.
Awhile back I saw a dating show where one woman told another that she likes her men to have some "thug" in them. Clearly she is someone who is attracted men who have an (edge) or temper with some bullying traits. Have you ever noticed that most gangsters have no problem finding women to be with? Some women are attracted to "dominant men" and view it as strength.
I've also heard women say: "I'm a strong woman and I need a strong man who can handle me." Generally speaking they're not talking about physical strength. What many of them usually mean is they want a man who will "stand up to them" in an argument/fight and not walk away or be "passive aggressive".
In both of those instances these women are intentionally seeking out men who are likely to have a violent nature. However there are some women who truly are victims of a "bait & switch". Initially the guy was tender and romantic and after there was an emotional commitment he revealed his other side.
Self-esteem is a gift you give yourself. Too often the victim sticks around hoping the (abuser) will change but it is her/him that needs to change!
If you want something different (you) have to do something different!
Unfortunately most people would rather attempt to change the world than to change themselves.
"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."
- Oscar Wilde
Clearly if someone is abusing their mate they don't think they're "special".
Never separate your mind from your heart when making relationship decisions. The purpose of the mind is to protect the heart.
Ignoring "red flags" and refusing to acknowledge or take advantage of other "options" imprisons oneself.