The Cycle of Violence
The following table and description was adopted from org. It explains the complex cycle that most domestic violence relationships partake in. This pattern of events will continue to occur over and over until the victim manages to seek help or until the abuser murders the victim.
- Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence
- Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show you "who is boss."
- Guilt – After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what they have done. They are more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for his abusive behavior.
- Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what they have done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for the abusive behavior—anything to avoid taking responsibility.
- "Normal" behavior — the abuser does everything they can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. They may act as if nothing has happened, or they may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
- Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. They spend a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how they will make you pay. Then he or she makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
- Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts their plan in motion, creating a situation where they can justify abusing you. 2