I take it, Mandos, that this is not a MO thread? Please tell me to shut up if you like.
I don't mean to discount the real problem of domestic violence, but for some years now, what has puzzled me most -- and for some reason, frightened me most, even though there is little reason for me to fear it in my own life any time soon -- is the (I am given to understand) next-to-universal phenomenon of rape in wartime.
What explains that? Soviet troops are understandably enraged at the massacres committed on their own people by the Nazis, and furthermore they have just triumphed in battle, and what do they do? They rape every German woman in sight. Scratch German: every woman in sight.
To me, that feels like an inescapable, irreducible truth, and a terrifying fact about life. I know that it will happen tonight, all over the world, just because it can, because men can do that and will do it, wherever life is disrupted. It is a huge nightmare to me.