After years as a taboo topic, abuse has come "out of the closet" and is being talked about openly in society. Yet, while abuse in the workplace is being confronted, abuse within families still often goes unrecognized by outsiders, including by nurses. Failure of nurses to recognize abuse is unfortunate since frequently they are the first point of contact with the victim of abuse in the emergency room, clinic and home. Understanding and insight into the problem of family violence by nurses is critical in addressing this problem. Knowledge is crucial in planning strategies that will have the long-lasting effect of decreasing the cycle of abuse in families.