Why do women who've been in abusive relationships themselves choose to be friends with abusive men?

This sounds like sour grapes about people who have been caught in abusive relationships--like it is their choice. Of course, no one specifically seeks out someone who is abusive.

Actually, so many of the abusive mates are very charming and attractive (make you laugh, have fun, offer nice courtesies) in the beginning, which is so appealing. They just can't keep the facade when things get real, and there is commitment by the other person, so there is less incentive to mind their manners. Looking back, I can see several "what was That?" instances in my relationship.

And that is the issue--we all go back to familiar behaviors unless we have had time out to have the insight to see ourselves as we are and to view our choices with more logic than emotion. A veteran of an abusive relationship needs to take things slow, observe the red flags (ie. did the person's ex leave them suddenly and without explanation? Are they quick to anger? Do they blame you for things you have no control over? etc.), and spend time with the other person in several different circumstances. If you can delay having sex with the new person and mixing those endorphins into the decision making, you will be better off.

A good resource is the book by Patricia Evans--The Verbally Abusive Relationship.