This is a friend that we have been separated for years recently met each other by accident as we discovered that we live in the same city. As we tried to rekindle our friendship, I saw bruises on her body almost every time we met. After repeated questioning she finally opened up. This is a somewhat complex situation that I will attempt to explain. She admitted to me that she is sexually submissive was divorced from a husband who could not understand. Unfortunately into the arms of an abuser. A man who assaults her on regular basis not according to what I read about BDSM where safe words are used and where agreements are reached. But rather violently leaving her badly bruised emotionally and physically. In addition she described a horrible ability of this man to cause her mental torment and torture, which is the most difficult part of the whole abuse. The most curious aspect of this relationship is that she understands its abuse, the man does not live with her, she could stop it anytime, and she breaks up with him on regular bases, yet during moments of weakness she either responds to his calls or she calls him. She explains that after each meeting she feels shame, and guilt and an emptiness inside. This lady who is in her early thirties, had a difficult childhood in rural Mississippi, where her mother had bipolar disorder and engaged in mental torment of her daughter, and a detached father, and a grandfather who attempted once to sexually abuse her. I did a form of intervention and managed to get her to stay away from him for a month. In the meanwhile she read more and really seemed to understand the difference between abuse and sexual submission. After a month she seemed to be doing really well so I spent less time with her allowing her back to her own life. Within few days he contacted her and she invited him back. Now she feels the pain and the guilt and asked for my help, with a statement is that she does not trust herself not to call him again. I am beside myself to come up with an explanation, as to why does she need this abuse. My only theory is that she loves him and his abuse somehow is related to her mother with whom she had no conclusion aside from mental illness. She often claims that she seeks validation from him. Is she trying to validate her mother's abuse through this man? I am afraid he is going to hurt her. I have suggested therapy which she can only get through women's shelter. Can anyone shed some light on this please.