Topic Monday: Living Through The Cycle of Violence
We’ve been discussing domestic violence and one important factor of an abusive relationship is the cycle of violence. This cycle happens hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. At first the cycle may happen very slowly lasting as much as a year or more. However, in my experience, the more often abuse happens the faster this cycle will move. This could even be to the point that the cycle completes itself within just a few hours.
The important thing to remember is that each phase may last for a different length of time but over time the violence will increase. The important thing to remember is that this is for any type of abuse that occurs.
So let’s take a look at the phases:
Phase One: Tension Building—is when the tension begins to build, the abuser often increases threats and control while the victim minimizes the problem and tries to keep the abuser calm, the victim feels as if she is walking on eggshells, there is poor communication and the tension becomes intolerable. I can tell you from experience that as the abuse increases, the victim will sometimes force the situation just to get the abuse over with.
Phase Two: Abusive Incident—abuser loses control, victim feels trapped and helpless, abuser blames the victim, the abusive incident occurs.
Phase Three: Making Up—the abuser apologizes and may promise to never do it again, abuser may blame the victim or deny the abuse took place.
Phase Four: Honeymoon Period—abuser is loving and attentive, victim has mixed feelings, victim feels guilty and responsible, abuser is manipulative and promises to change, victim minimizes abuse and considers reconciliation, and abuser will do anything to keep victim under his control. During this period the victim is often confused, because the abuser may be loving and they wish that the abuser was like this all the time. I would often think that if it was always like this I wouldn’t be so unhappy, but inevitably the cycle would repeat and the abuse would occur again and I’d be reminded that the man I loved was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality.
Have you seen this cycle of violence in relationships?