Domestic violence is an “equal opportunity offender”. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of education, economic status, race, religion, age or sex.
There is little evidence that low self-esteem is a factor for initially becoming involved in an abusive relationship. In reality, some victims of domestic violence experience a decrease in self-esteem because their abusers are constantly degrading, humiliating and criticizing them, which also makes them more vulnerable to staying in the relationship.
The most dangerous time for a victim is at the time of separation. Those who are abusive seek “power and control” over their partner. In attempting to leave, the victim is undermining their partner’s “power and control”. To a batterer, this is the ultimate defiance or betrayal. They may refuse to accept that their partner could or should live their life outside of their “power and control”. This type of batterer feels justified in preventing their partner from leaving them by any means necessary.