Ava owes everything to Nathan, her boyfriend. Without him she is useless and incapable of independent thought or action. Ava knows this because Nathan has told her, repeatedly, and just to reinforce the point, the occasional slap or punch helps, doesn't it? After all, it is her fault, as she does ‘push all his buttons' and cause him to be so angry.
This seems to be the pattern of Ava's life until she has a chance meeting with Neil, a man who is different, who seems to understand, and she takes the brave step of asking him to help her leave her possessive, abusive relationship. Leaving is never that easy and Nathan's persistence in pursuing Ava is the cause of much mental anguish for both her and Neil, for whom the long-buried memory of an abusive father is brought back into focus.
They are both caught up in uncertainty and physical violence, which test the tender love that is growing between them.