If domestic violence is not addressed in the early stages it can progress and escalate into a very dangerous and life-threatening situation.
That being said, it is sometimes difficult for the victim to recognize that he or she is in a violent relationship. This is because abuse follows a progression and may start out with behaviors such as pushing, "put-downs", and name-calling. These behaviors may not be viewed as abuse by the victim. If the victim stays in the relationship, behaviors of the perpetrator can escalate to kicking, punching, threats, and stalking. Emotional abuse can occur that makes the victim feel as if they are worthless and to blame for the abuse that is occurring. The abuser may isolate the victim from family and friends in order to make the victim dependent on the abuser.
In short, it is very important to address domestic violence in the early stages, but it can be easily missed by the victim and by health care providers.