The Three Main Phases of The Cycle of Abuse
Yes, domestic violence can often be described as a continuous cycle. This cycle typically consists of three main phases: tension building, explosion or acute incident, and the honeymoon phase.
- Tension building: In this phase, the abuser’s behavior becomes increasingly unpredictable and controlling. There may be a breakdown in communication, escalating arguments, and a sense of walking on eggshells. The victim may feel anxious, fearful, and may try to placate or avoid the abuser to prevent the situation from escalating further.
- Explosion or acute incident: This phase involves the actual act of violence or abuse, which can be physical, emotional, or sexual. The abuser loses control and unleashes their anger and aggression on the victim. This can include physical assaults, verbal threats, intimidation, or any other form of abuse. The victim may experience fear, pain, confusion, and a sense of powerlessness during this phase.
- Honeymoon phase: Following the acute incident, the abuser may feel remorseful, guilty, or afraid of the consequences of their actions. They may apologize, make promises to change, and show affection or kindness towards the victim. This phase often creates a temporary sense of calm and hope, leading the victim to believe that the abuse won’t happen again and that the abuser genuinely regrets their behavior.
However, this honeymoon phase is typically short-lived, and the cycle begins again with tension building, leading to another explosion and then followed by another honeymoon phase. Over time, the tension-building phase may become shorter, and the explosive incidents may become more frequent and severe, trapping the victim in a dangerous and volatile situation.
Breaking the cycle of domestic violence is challenging, as victims often face barriers such as fear, economic dependence, isolation, and psychological manipulation by the abuser. Support from friends, family, and professional organizations can be crucial in helping victims escape the cycle, find safety, and rebuild their lives.
Stop the Cycle Of Abuse Program strives to prevent Intimate Partner Violence. To help us fund our intiatives visit https://givebutter.com/scoap participate in our silent auctions, attend our events, or volunteer your time.