People are likely to dismiss reports of domestic violence about a person they know well, saying that it can’t be true, we know him!
Domestic violence is not very apparent to an outsider and, in some cases, even to the abused person. The violence is delivered - and rationalized - in a way that the abused woman may not fully grasp that she is being victimized. The relationship is driven by control, which is not just physical but mental. Abusers can inflict deep judgmental imbalances in the partner’s mind. The partner, seeing herself through his eyes as a ‘loser’, may actually feel the violent acts and subjugation are condonable.
What makes detection more complex is that abusers can be charming, intelligent, attentive, professionally competent, sometimes good fathers, like any guy next door.
Abusive behavior is learned behavior: As a child the abuser may have observed violence at home and been the target of it as well (see Impact on kids). Violence is recognized as a tool to gain control over another individual. All acts of violence by such an individual are deliberate and planned, not impulsive bursts of anger. When confronted, the abuser will tend to make light of them, blame the partner, or blame external circumstances.
Generally such a person is self centered, quick to take offence, jealous, possessive and justifies cruelty and punishment inflicted on the partner.