The first question everyone asks me when I introduce myself as an expert on intimate partner violence, is, “Why do those women stay in those terrible relationships?” We should be asking, “What makes abusers abuse or continue to abuse?” We will address that question in another blog. For now, let’s concentrate on the first question. First, intimate partner abusers, whether it eventually becomes a physically abusive relationship or an emotionally abusive relationship, don’t start out being abusive on the first date. They are actually going to be more charismatic and charming than the average guy. They are going to work very hard at getting their targeted victim to fall for them, and to align themselves together. They will make the victim feel as though they are a team. Once they have gained their trust and loyalty, they begin to isolate them from friends and family so the victim becomes co-dependent on the abuser. Know the manipulative tactics abusers use. Your daughter, sister, friend or co-worker could be in an abusive relationship. 1 out of 4 women report intimate partner violence. Given these stats, you are certain to encounter someone in your lifetime in an abusive relationship.