My Limited Experience and Personal Opinions
If you or someone you know has a problem with domestic violence, please check The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence which has links to coalitions by state so you can find local contacts.
I mentioned a few years ago that my first husband had problems beyond his ability to control and one of them was abuse; shortly thereafter, I wrote about my my personal experience. Since that time, I've found that I don't have the courage to go back and revise that hurridly written piece because I don't want to face that monster again. I had a light experience with domestic violence in that my first husband was verbally and physically abusive but never so severely that I required medical attention. I was slapped, hit, choked, and threatened with a gun. I as told it was my fault and that I made him do it and that he never hit anyone else. Years later, his second wife told me that he never laid a hand on her, but she left him when she discovered that he was the source of the bruises on her daughters.
I don't know why people abuse their spouses. I do know that my first husband grew up with violence and that he seemed to have a great need to control something in his life and I became the one thing he knew he could control.
I count myself lucky that he left and I hope that anyone reading this will find an agency or a person who will help them escape. However, I cannot be that person. I've found that I lack the courage to read stories from others and I fear that I may say the wrong thing that will cause someone to take action that leads to their death.
Abuse doesn't stop without intervention. If you are abusing or being abused, please contact whatever local agencies are available in your area for assistance. Check The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to find an domestic violence coalition in your area. If you're near Indianapolis, I recommend the Julian Center. I don't donate a great deal of money to charity, but that's where I send my donations and that is where I encourage others to send their donations.
Violence doesn't stop and quite frequently, those who abuse their wives or husbands will also abuse their children. It's a contagious disease and we catch it by learning the behavior from those around us. For the sake of those who care about you and for the sake of any children you may have, leave everything behind and walk out the door NOW and call the police to ask about shelters if you don't know where else to go. Living in poverty isn't fun, but it's better than being dead.