Abusive husband-how to know if it is C or T

I’m not trying to coach my friend, but, she is telling me about her situation, as a friend. I can’t help to think in terms of the Model. My question is:
How can we know if a husband is abusive? Because it can always be what someone thinks about him or the situation. Is he abusive as C, only if he says he wants to hurt his family, or if in fact, hurts them physically or verbally? It seems difficult to me, to tell someone who feels to be in this abusive situation, that it is only a problem of what someone is choosing to think.