Partners who behave abusively often do not accept full responsibility for their behavior. Instead, they may blame their partners, stress, alcohol or other drugs, anger, loss of control, an unhappy childhood, or someone or something else. But the fact is, lots of people are under stress, drink, use drugs, get angry or were abused as children. Yet most of these people do not choose to use violence and coercion in their intimate relationships.
Intimate partner abuse is about an individual’s decision to be hurtful or harmful as a way to control his or her partner. People can change. But it means giving up patterns of behavior, attitudes and beliefs that they've probably had for a long time. That kind of change doesn't come quickly or easily. Even when people who are abusive say they want to stop and they get help, it doesn't guarantee that they will stop. Even if your partner gets help, it is important to continue to plan for your own safety.