Tough one. Do you know that statistics say a woman is treated badly at least 21 times before she decides to leave or pull out of the relationship?
I feel that the partner deep down, knows it's not ok. There are so many issues! Alice Miller, the famous psychologist, used to say that if we had tough upbringings, the cycle tended to repeat itself. We are in pain and we create pain for others. There are those, though, who would acknowledge that they need help, but somehow, few can transcend the problems.
Yes, legal, social and financial play very large parts in this. Dealing with the legal side, sometimes it goes to court and one partner backs off and then it's a waste of police time. I saw this quite often in the Caribbean (I was a policeman) and I saw it here in the UK. We are all so similar after all.
Socially there may be children involved; financially one partner may be dependant on the other. Actually, it is because that insecurity plays such a big part... insecurity and fear, that things take so long to resolve themselves.
Who is to blame? Generally I don't do that stuff, go down that road. Strength is needed and perhaps it's not always there. Support is needed and again it's not always there, or can even initially be refused.
You mentioned shame, right? Not all of us love to be humiliated in public or wash our dirty linen there. Big shame though, as you know, some of these situations can end with serious consequences for either party. Pistorius is a good example, perhaps.
What changes do we need? Don't know, ThreeKeys. We rely on others so much! A girl told me yesterday, that when she had had enough, she planned a getaway. She had packed and hid a suitcase in secret, and when the man went to work, she called a taxi and disappeared with the two kids. Today she is a lot better, brighter, single but much, much happier.
Point is that accountability or individual responsibility is important too. We cannot always sit around and wait, hoping for someone to help us.
Of course the law can and should do its part, and for that awareness is necessary. All great change has come about because of revolution, and we see some small changes in America now (I'm not targeting it, it came to mind as a good example.) because some people are standing up to injustice as they see it. Much Peace, ThreeKeys.