Domestic violence is primarily associated with bruises and physical violence. In the social environment, however, violence rarely begins with physical assaults. Before the first blows, the victims are usually already exposed to psychological violence for months or even years.
Those affected are often unaware that what they have experienced is to be considered violence. Common perceptions about violence and a lack of social education contribute to this. As a result, psychological violence often goes unnoticed for a long time, even among acquaintances or family members.
In addition, many perpetrators behave in an extremely manipulative and skilful manner: They maintain an outwardly friendly, accommodating demeanor in order to make the victim's claims to the contrary appear implausible. However, if victims are afraid that people around them will not believe them, they often withdraw. This further strengthens the power of the perpetrator.