Understanding abuse and recognizing its signs are a big first step. Remember, the victim of abuse often doesn't realize she's being abused or else she thinks she's somehow responsible. Read about abuse so you can be prepared to spot it [source: CRAA ]. Talk to a licensed expert about relationship abuse or a specialist with an abuse support group in your area. Maybe a former victim of abuse is willing to share insights. With all of these tools, you can learn about what motivates abusers so you can recognize it in your particular situation.
Since abuse is all about control, you may find that the abuser has so skillfully controlled a message about his relationship that only a knowledgeable outsider can see what's truly going on. You've heard it said that knowledge is power. By learning all you can about abuse, you'll have the power to sidestep manipulation, denial, minimization and the undeserved guilt that your friend, relative or co-worker has had heaped on her.