It is a choice to be abusive towards someone else. Ideally, we would say “people who have chosen to be abusive,” rather than “perpetrators,” “offenders,” or “abusers.” However, this is the terminology used in our courts, institutions and social services and is reflected as such on our site. Every abuser has a friend, a parent, or a loved one who would say “my son/brother/friend would never be abusive.” However, holding someone accountable for their decisions to be abusive is the first step a friend/loved one should take when they learn about abusive behavior.