I'm gonna rant (because my Facebook friends say stupid crap that ticks me off), so yknow, skip it if you ain't with it
(Obviously based on my own experience, but I left out a good bit to keep is some what broad)
I honestly can't stand it when someone talks about abusive relationships like it is a super easy thing to deal with. It isn't. So many people act like abusers start out smacking you around from the beginning, and that you're just an idiot for staying. I can't say it's never like that, but it's definitely not always like that. Sometimes it starts out as emotional abuse. Subtle at first, where you don't even notice it happening. Backhanded compliments that slowly chip away your self esteem, laying on the guilt over mundane things until you start to feel like the horrible one, putting you down while boosting themselves up. Then it slowly shifts to direct insults. Before you know it, you start to think you deserve that kind of treatment, that they're the best you can get. It's worse if you have people in your life that shame you into the relationship in the first place, which is common (particularly for females.) The "but he's a nice guy, don't be so shallow and rude." kind of lines, that tell women they're not good enough to reject guys they're not interested in, while telling the guys they are better than the women. Which is a whole other issue for another time. Anyway, eventually you're in an emotionally abusive relationship, and you still might not even notice it. Abuse makes for an uncomfortable conversation, so no one ever says anything, so you think it's normal. They occasionally break up the harshness with kindness, which makes you feel lucky briefly. When physical abuse does come into the picture, they play it off as a joke at first. They apologize, and even throw in some tears, and you believe it because "aw. they're crying. they obviously mean it." Everything is fine. You think it's normal to "play" wrestle your partner, even if it hurts too much and leaves bruises, and you have to beg to get them to stop... which they still might not do (but boys like to wrestle and get carried away.. and boys will be boys, right?...) You don't realize that it's not normal to have to apologize profusely over talking to someone they didn't pre-approve of. You didn't realize it isn't normal to constantly be on edge because if you didn't answer the phone or text back instantly, they would threaten to come track you down (and you don't really want to be near them, especially when angry, so you always try to answer.) Eventually, they hit you, and they don't even pretend that they were playing. It kind of knocks some sense into you, and you start to realize it isn't normal. Unfortunately, you also realize this person scares you. This person that you've never successfully gotten off of you. This person you've never been able to fight back. So, yeah, you stay. You don't know what else to do. Everyone sees the bruises, and you don't even lie about them. Every time you try to leave, they either threaten to kill themselves or you. They justify everything by saying it was your own fault. You might eventually find your voice and fight back when they verbally bully you, and it escalates to more violence. Your neck is their favorite place to go. "I'm just joking" choking turns into actual choking. Which is something a lot of people don't come back from. It's a real slap in the face to imply that victims have lost their lives all because they chose not leave, and imply that they're just stubborn because it's "easy to leave."
How I got out of my relationship: he was the kinda guy that would look for someone better while with me (caught him multiple times but he wouldn't leave me and I couldn't be the one to leave him.. fear), so I made a fake Facebook with my friend and we flirted with him over it until he dumped me and we kept it up until it I knew he wouldn't come back and beg me to get back with him (fear.) it was successful. He thought it was his idea so there was no fake crying, threats, promises, other manipulative crap. He still stalks me occasionally, tho. Which is scary.