I agree with everyone that it is important to tell someone that it is happening to you. However, one of the issues with telling someone is that it can be difficult to tell someone. Also, when victims of domestic violence or abuse do tell someone, it is common for others to make up excuses or not believe the victim. Then when a victim of domestic abuse does tell, it is also common to hear people say, "why don't you just leave?"
The fact is that leaving is often the most dangerous time for the victim of the abuse. This is when the most violence occurs. It is important for the victim to have a safety plan before "just leaving". The perpetrator often uses powerful manipulation tactics to scare the victim from leaving or in believing there is no where to go. Perpetrators function off of power and control, which outsiders typically don't see.
So, to answer you question, yes there are things that victims can do to protect themselves. The first being community resources. There are a lot of organizations that have crisis lines and other free services to help victims. If you need a place to stay, try google searching for domestic violence shelters or centers. Contacting your local police department can help also. Contact a friend or family member that you truly trust to hold on to your important documents and money that you may need in an emergency. If you are no longer living with the abuser, make sure you tell neighbors of any possible danger, what to look out for, and if they hear strange noises from your home to call the authorities. Install an alarm system, you can even purchase door and window alarms from your local home goods store if you cannot afford a monitored alarm system.
Some important things to keep in mind:
If you hear a neighbor in distress, don't hesitate to call.
*Also, If you hear of or witness an animal being abused report it immediately. The link between animal abuse/violence and domestic violence (or violent crimes in general) are huge. Chances are if the individual is abusing animals, they are likely to be committing other crimes as well.
Domestic violence and abuse knows no boundaries as far as family/individual income, education, socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, race, etc. It is a myth that domestic abuse only occurs in low income households. It can happen to anyone. If you have more questions, feel free to ask me.