The Cycle of Abuse
- Walking on eggshells
- Threats and intimidation
- Unpredictable behavior
- Victim may placate the abuser by nurturing and/or staying out of their way
- Victim covers for abuser
- Victim makes excuses for abuser’s behavior
- Victim may withdraw emotionally from overwhelming stress
The victim's inability to face the reality of the situation allows the batterer to escalate the violence...
Violent Outburst- This is when the abuse actually occurs and can be any type of abuse: Violent/physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, and/or financial in nature.
Remorse - During this phase, the abuser apologizes or attempts to make up for the abusive behavior:
- Abuser may apologize for abuse
- Abuser may promise it will never happen again
- Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
- Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims
Honeymoon Phase- A period of relative calm, the abuser has blown off steam, possibly apologized, and regains composure. This may be the longest phase in early relationships, but can become progressively shorter over time as the tension phase starts up again..
- Tranquil, well-being environment
- Abuser makes promises
- Victim feels responsible for abuser’s well being
- Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
- Physical abuse may not be taking place
- Promises made during 'making-up' may be met
- Victim may believe the abuse is over
- Abuser may give gifts to victim along with continued apologies and affection
The cycle usually ends one of two ways: in the death of the victim or a separation. If there is a separation the abuser often moves on to a new victim. The cycle of violence illustrates that until the cycle is broken by the victim, the abuser, or an outside influence, it can result in deadly consequences.