Over seven days in shelters, courts and police units, Inquirer reporters chronicle the toll of domestic abuse across the region.

Crying softly, the tall, slender woman slumps on a bench outside the police department's Domestic Abuse Response Team office in North Philadelphia.

She delicately probes the ballooning lump on her left cheek with long fingers. The punch came out of nowhere, delivered by her ex-boyfriend three hours before when she refused to sleep with him.

With wet eyes, the woman looks up at a poster that proclaims, "There's nothing domestic about domestic violence."

Smarting from the anger of a man she once trusted, she waits to tell her story.

A story about real life domestic violence.