I used to know a giant of a man, 6'6'", he started a local abused mens club. He never hit the bitch, but he woke up on several occasions to this women beating him with a garden hose. He always walked away, but like the sisters in similar situations, he always went home.
My ex hit me once, I moved out the next day. I never went back. I packed up the kids and moved in with my parents until I could get back on my feet. It was a terrifying time. None, the less, I didn't hit him back. My new husband knows the drill. He gets one chance, that's it. He'd better make it good or I will be gone again or die. I don't believe violence is ever the answer. If I was attacked, I would hit whoever it was, women or man, but it would only happen if I feared for my life. Otherwise, I would walk/run away. I've seen one too many bar/street fights that ended badly to ever entice me to trade punches with anyone.