Cycle of Domestic Violence
WHAT IS THE CYCLE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The cycle of violence is a pattern that occurs in relationships where there is abuse, typically between intimate partners, and it is broken into three stages that often repeat themselves:
- Honeymoon phase: the abuser is behaving in a lovely and caring manner, and the victim is made to feel safe and that the relationship is flourishing.
- Tension Building Phase: within the relationship, tension increases as the abuser seems to be in a more emotional volatile state, creating a state of fear for the victim.
- Explosion Phase: This is the stage where the abuser commits the violent or abusive acts. This may be in form physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, spiritual, financial abuse, or neglect.
How a relationship starts is not reflective of the overall quality of the relationship. Once any abusive behaviours have been introduced to a relationship, the relationship is no longer a healthy one. Abusers do not often begin abusing their partner in the beginning of a relationship, in fact abusive relationships often start off well, as the abuser is attempting to lure the victim into the relationship. Once the relationship has been secured, it is at this point that abusive behaviours are introduced into the relationship. Once the abuser realizes that their behaviour can go unquestioned, and that their partner has been manipulated into believing that abusive events won’t occur again, that is when the cycle of violence begins.
It is never acceptable for a partner in a relationship to harm you or hurt you or place your safety in jeopardy. It is wise when experiencing the first signs of abuse within a relationship, to let people that you trust know, and get help immediately. Visit your doctor when experiencing physical or sexual violence, in order to build a record. Research shows that those who display abusive behaviours once, often have these behaviours continue within the relationship, either in the same or in different ways. At the first sign of abuse, please consider leaving your relationship, if you can. Seek professional help to safely leave or to have someone to speak to about your relationship.
If you are planning or are already ready to leave an abusive relationship, click here to learn more. (link to safety plan)