Often times it ends in one of two ways; a person is killed or they escape.
"When a woman leaves a violent situation, it is the single most dangerous time for her and we are incredibly cognizant of that fact," said Teresa Mills, who serves as Executive Director of The Peace at Home Family Shelter in Fayetteville.
The shelter was established in 1977 and has become a place where women and children can go to finally feel secure after living in fear for so long.
"People who come here are people who have been victims of domestic violence," said K.C. Tucker. "That can be physical violence and that can be people who have suffered sexual abuse."
After starting as a volunteer, Tucker was eventually named chairman of the shelter's board of directors. Along with she and Mills -- staff members and a group of dedicated volunteers work 24-7 to protect those who can't protect themselves.
The shelter is a Donald W. Reynolds grantee which allowed the organization to build an emergency safe shelter from the ground up. Thanks to police, security cameras, lock-down procedures, keypads and other precautions -- families are truly safe behind the shelter's walls and they're also taken care of.
"People arrive here very often with nothing more than the clothes on their back," Tucker said. "So we help folks from everything from finding clothes to finding employment to finding housing. Everything that we can help folks find what they need to get their life started in a domestic violence-free way."
One of the best ways a client can start her new life is to shop for free at the shelter's thrift store on North Garland Avenue in Fayetteville. Donations and money are always needed because everything you give can potentially save a life.
"It takes about seven to eight times for an abused woman to successfully leave her domestic partner and last year, of the 100 families that we worked with, we had eleven return," Mills said. "So we know that we're doing good work in this community and we're just so grateful to be able to do it every day."