I'm 67. I've never been hit by a man. I think they knew it would kick off something more like scorched earth policy than mere "war". I also think it helps if they know you're halfway to insane at the best of times. (!)
I grew up watching my dad beat the snot out of my mom any old time he was in the mood to do it. When not bullying her, he bullied my brother and I. He went too far when my mom was pregnant with my youngest sister, he hauled off to let her have a right to the gut and I nailed him on top of the head with the poker. It was made of rebar material, about as thick around as the average woman's thumb. Knocked him to his knees, blood came from head, from nose, from ears, even from around his eye balls. I played semi-professional softball, changed stance and was all set to hit a home run with his dome when Mom stepped in front of him. I could NOT hit her. She said "you'll kill him.". I said something like I hope so. She said then I would be like him. Couldn't have that. Put down the poker. Regretted several times that I did but it was the last truly sick beating he put on any of the kids, although he still had at her when nobody was around to help defend her.
I carry that with me, at all times. And I think the few men in my life sensed that all it would take would be one slap and I'd be right out of my gourd, and it would be to the finish.
The one exception to my claim of never having been hit by a man was my crazy uncle and he had to knock me cold to get his mangy ass out of the house . But, of course, that was a "religious" difference of opinion so, of course, HE was right and I was, as in all things religious , wrong wrong wrong. However, the kayo did not result in conversion so maybe even he learned something.
I taught all my kids to fight. Not nicely. Street fighting. And I'll teach the grandgrrrrrrls, too. Nobody is going to wind up pinned in a corner and helpless the way Annie was.
I still don't really understand why she didn't leave the mad fuck! Ah, but when he wanted to be he was charming, the best dancer on the Island, sang like Bing Crosby, everyone thought he was SO nice....