In abusive relationships it is not uncommon for the victim to feel that the abuser loves because they say they do.
Abused children believe their parents love them because they say they do. And children will believe this even when the parent has a long history of beating the child or profoundly neglecting the child.
This is why it's important to watch what people do, rather than what they say. The predators and abusers of the world often display "empathy gaps", gaps in their ability to feel compassion or empathy for others. Their words are very charming and full of "love", yet their actions tells a different story.