What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is any physical abuse or threat or pattern thereof, between intimately involved partners, roommates, or family members. Domestic violence and other domestic friction is a significant contributor to homelessness and general domestic upheaval. Although most domestic violence victims are ostensibly women, some social recognition is beginning to manifest for male domestic violence victims as well. There are many definitions of domestic violence and many theories about why it occurs and who it involves. I found a simple definition in a document from DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women's Network). "Domestic violence is abusive behavior that is either physical, sexual or psychological- or some combination of these. Although usually targeted towards a partner or children, abusive behavior harms everyone in the family."
Domestic violence is often understood as the act of physical violence of one family member toward another. In reality, many survivors reveal that they suffer as much from verbal and emotional abuse as from the actual physical abuse. Therefore, domestic violence includes all language and actions which inflict suffering on the victim. Domestic violence also includes behaviors which force someone to do things they do not want to, or prevent them from doing activities that they do want to do. Domestic Abuse and Violence can be Physical or Psychological. Some examples of Psychological Abuse are as follows: Jokes, insults, threats, public humiliation, name calling, yelling, intimidating, ignoring, blaming, accusing, manipulating, and isolating. Psychological abuse cause the victim to feel helpless, become depressed, have a mental breakdown, and even think about suicide. Physical Abuse and violence  has follow examples: pushing, shoving, unmet physical needs, jerking, hitting, choking, bitting, kicking, slapping, throwing the victim, throwing items, using objects to batter the victim with, squeezing, pinching, restraining, disfiguring, disabling, and murder. There are many other words and examples I could use here, but I believe that the question has been answered.
Women are subject to abuse regardless of race or class. Ann Jones (author of: Next Time, She'll be Dead) found a story about a woman called Janice: My husband shot me twice but was so drunk he missed me. I locked myself in the bathroom and crawled out the window. I ran through a field in knee-deep snow with no shoes on. The neighbors took me to the hospital. The next day I was admitted to the psych ward for anxiety (149). Her story continued with a psychiatrist declaring her as paranoid. He felt she had an "irrational fear" that someone was out to get her. 
She was prescribed Valium and was returned to her home. Women who are battered can not just leave their abusers.