Brutal attacks on women by cowardly and controlling men continue to shock ECHO readers on a regular basis.
Over the past 12 months, there has been a steady stream of court cases involving sickening and gratuitous domestic violence perpetrated by men against women.
Even more disturbing, this violence often amounts to murder - every week, two women are murdered by a partner or ex partner, according to government statistics from 2016.
The ECHO has named and shamed some of the worst offenders in Merseyside in recent times.
However, domestic abuse can affect anyone.
While they remain far less common, there are also cases of women savagely assaulting and cruelly manipulating male partners.
Their actions have left current or former husbands and boyfriends physically and psychologically scarred, and even proved fatal.
Here are some of the most notorious cases that have featured in our courts in recent times.
1. Drunk woman stabbed former lover with carving knife
Drunken Gayle Worrall stabbed her former lover with a large carving knife when she discovered he had a new girlfriend.
The mum-of-four turned up at her ex-partner’s house in Speke on three separate occasions on the same night, culminating in a vicious attack.
She fled and deliberately crashed the car she was driving into a tree - while already banned from the road because of previous drink driving.
The 43-year-old became "obsessed" with Simon Bradford when they broke up after a "difficult" three-and-a-half year relationship.
She harboured hopes the relationship would be rekindled as he left some belongings - including a motorbike - at her home in West Derby.
But when she realised he had a new girlfriend, she began bombarding him with emails and text messages, which were ignored.
Worrall, of Asser Road, drove to her ex-partner's address in Gerneth Road, Speke, dropping off her youngest son, a 12-year-old with Asperger's.
She later returned, banged on the front door and used a plant pot to vandalise a car she believed was his new partner's, but was in fact his son's.
After a second visit, Worrall downed a bottle of wine and trashed the car again, before her ex emerged and she knifed him in the stomach.
She said she wanted to 'finish the job off' and the victim took the drastic step of pulling the knife out of his stomach, then "bled profusely".
Emergency services had to cut Worrall free from her car after she deliberately drove at speed into a tree in Menlove Avenue.
Worrall told police she was "madly in love" with Mr Bradford, who could have died and was left with a four-inch scar.
Richard Orme, defending, said Worrall was in "severe emotional and psychological turmoil" and normally a caring, loving person.
Worrall admitted wounding with intent and driving while disqualified. She was jailed for six years and two months.
2. Woman pretended to be nurse to take boyfriend's blood then accused him of threatening to shoot her
Katie Newell pretended to be a nurse to take her boyfriend’s blood then accused him of threatening to shoot her when they split up.
The 30-year-old told police she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant and Cameron Schofield, 25, had said he would harm her baby.
But in reality innocent Mr Schofield – who lost his job as a result – had done nothing wrong whatsoever and the baby did not exist.
Newell told Mr Schofield she was a qualified nurse and said he could get a job with the ambulance service but must take a drug test.
She returned to his house with equipment and took his blood after around five “botched” attempts, then told him he had tested positive.
After their relationship ended, she falsely claimed he threatened to shoot her, injure her new boyfriend and harm her unborn child.
Mr Schofield was arrested and taken into custody, but when interviewed revealed Newell had assaulted him by taking his blood.
The victim lost his job at a William Hill bookmakers after both Newell’s new boyfriend and also police turned up at the store.
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Newell, of Furness Avenue, West Derby, admitted perverting the course of justice and was found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm.
However, Newell, found to suffer from emotional problems, anxiety and low moods, was spared jail.
She was handed three months in prison, suspended for nine months.
3. Teenager repeatedly tried to stab ex-boyfriend outside chip shop
Megan Quirk repeatedly tried to stab her ex-boyfriend outside a chip shop but was spared jail.
The 18-year-old flew into a "wild rage" when Dylan Palmer, 23, came to her mum's house on the day they broke up.
She threatened him with a knife, then later confronted him outside Bungalow Fish Bar, in The Marian Square, Bootle.
Quirk claimed it was a "toxic" relationship and she suffered domestic violence, but this was rejected by prosecutors.
The teen's mum called police after Quirk picked up a blade and confronted Palmer in front of her two-year-old brother.
Members of the public reported Quirk holding a large knife with a six-inch blade and lunging at her former partner.
Kate Gaskell, prosecuting, said Quirk "screamed and growled in anger at him, appearing to be in a wild rage".
She made stabbing motions towards his left arm and admitted possession of a knife in public and common assault.
Rachel Oakdene, defending, said Quirk it was an "isolated incident", which was "wholly out of character".
She said Quirk had facial injuries when arrested, but the Crown didn't accept Mr Palmer, aka Mr Eastway, used any violence.
Ms Oakdene said Quirk, who suffered from anxiety and depression, was left by her mum when seven and went into care.
The court heard Quirk, who had no previous convictions, later lived with an aunt and witnessed and suffered domestic violence.
Quirk was handed 10 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work.
4. Woman pretended ex-lover was her baby’s dad by faking DNA paternity test
Danielle Morris pretended an ex-lover was her baby’s dad by faking a DNA paternity test .
She even had Jamie Somers’ name written on her three-year-old daughter Darcy’s birth certificate in a complex con.
The devastated singer said he spent a year treating the child like his own and paid up to £7,000 in child maintenance and gifts.
Mr Somers, from Crosby, looked after Darcy for three days and nights every week - feeding and bathing her and putting her to bed.
He got a foot-long tattoo on his arm, with his supposed daughter’s name and date of birth inked on his skin, as a permanent reminder.
Morris, 29, of Cookson Road, Seaforth, admitted two counts of fraud and Mr Somers said his life had been destroyed by the scam.
The 41-year-old, said: “Danielle Morris has acted in the most cruel way possible.
"She made me a daddy, she made my mum and dad grandparents, she shattered us with her lies. She sold her child to make money.
"Danielle Morris took my trust, my dignity, my love and my heart. I will live this agony for the rest of my life."
Morris was jailed for 12 months.
5. Jealous girlfriend poured boiling water on sleeping boyfriend after discovering texts from another woman
Magan Farquhar poured boiling water on her sleeping boyfriend after discovering texts from another woman on his phone.
Adam Stafford was lying naked in a hotel bed in Liverpool when the then 19-year-old scalded him with a hot kettle just above his groin.
The court heard how he woke up feeling "excruciating pain" - "like no other pain I have ever experienced" and was left covered in blisters.
Farquhar had found a video on Mr Stafford's phone of him dancing with a girl, who he had started seeing when they previously split up.
Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone. Find out how and where to get help.
Advice from the NHS says that If you are at risk of domestic abuse or violence you can:
The Survivor's Handbook from the charity Women's Aid is free, and provides information for women on a wide range of issues, such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.
Men can also email email@example.com, which can refer men to local places that can help, such as health services and voluntary organisations.
For forced marriage and "honour" crimes, contact Karma Nirvana (0800 5999 247) or The Forced Marriage Unit (020 7008 0151).
Galop provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.
Anyone who needs confidential help with their own abusive behaviour can contact Respect on their free helpline on 0808 802 4040.
Their two-year "turbulent" relationship had ended at that time after Farquhar caused criminal damage to Mr Stafford's mum's house.
Magistrates handed the teenager a 12-month conditional discharge for criminal damage.
But they began seeing each other again in secret – against their families’ wishes – and booked into The Z Hotel in North John Street.
When interviewed by police, Farquhar claimed she boiled the kettle to make herself a cup of tea before seeing recent text messages.
Farquhar said she knew the water was hot and wanted to cause him distress, but when she realised how much pain he was in, she regretted it.
Jeremy Rawson, defending, said the offence arose from "a toxic mix of alcohol and perceived infidelity" and claimed he had previously harmed her.
But he accepted the shop assistant had felt pain because of the texts and wanted to cause her defenceless victim pain.
Farquhar, of Guildhall Road, Orrell Park, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for 10 months.
6. Serial Tinder 'catfish' ruined lives for her 'sexual excitement' in a twisted fantasy world
Kirsten Wall conned men and women for "sexual excitement" then made chilling death threats when her lies were discovered.
The 20-year-old lured victims into relationships with fake profiles on social media - known as catfishing - and got them to send naked pictures.
The 'social media addict' pretended to be a friend or relative of the bogus personas, but turned "vindictive" whenever she was rumbled.
Wall threatened to distribute the photos, warned of murder by terrorists and repeatedly used Just Eat orders to torment her victims.
The court heard she would place food orders accompanied by disturbing messages and lies about impending violence.
Wall, formerly of Ashdale Road, Walton, claimed that lives were in danger, resulting in police raiding her victim's homes.
She told one victim's dad: "You will be planning her funeral very soon and also will be planning your whole family's.
"Terrorists know where your son lives, where your wife works and what nursing home your mother is in.
"Your daughter will be murdered soon. No police can protect your family."
Wall, of Leigh Road, Manchester - whose victims included her own dad - gave a bizarre explanation when arrested by police.
Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said: "She described herself as asexual, but said she derived sexual excitement from the arrangements."
Wall admitted perverting the course of justice, stalking and eight counts of malicious communications.
She was locked up for four years and two months.
Wall received restraining orders to protect eight people and a Criminal Behaviour Order, preventing her from using false identities online.
7. Manipulative girlfriend stopped victim seeing family and friends then stabbed him to death
Sarah Lewis used a jagged piece of broken plate to kill her boyfriend Paul Lavelle at his Wirral flat.
The 50-year-old’s nostril was left badly cut, resulting in him bleeding to death during the night in Rock Ferry.
Lewis, 46, was accused of murder, but admitted the lesser charge of manslaughter on the second day of a trial.
As he was dying at his flat in Old Chester Road, he phoned a business client and left a voicemail which said: "This place is a bloodbath, it's a f***ing bloodbath."
After the attack, Lewis took several photos of his face and left to spend the night at her sister's home, despite having not spoken to her for about 15 months.
When she returned the next day she found Mr Lavelle dead, sitting on the edge of the bath.
He had not taken any steps to get help, or contacted the emergency services, but had repeatedly phoned Lewis, making eight calls, which all went to her voicemail.
But the cunning killer deleted the messages and no audio clips remained for detectives to establish if and how Mr Lavelle had been murdered.
Lewis, of Croxteth Avenue, Seaforth, and Mr Lavelle had been in a relationship for around a year after meeting on a dating website, Plentyoffish.com.
Their relationship was often stormy, especially when they had drunk excessive amounts of alcohol, with police being called out on numerous occasions.
The huge Everton fan followed the Blues around Europe and visited the pub with his friends every week, but when they met this ended and he slowly stopped seeing his family.
Lewis was jailed for seven and a half years.
For more information about how to report domestic violence, or to seek specialist support, call the confidential 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
This helpline is free and run in partnership by Refuge and Women’s Aid.
In an emergency, call 999.