The Cycle of Violence

Most abusive relationships follow an up and down pattern of calm and then violence. As time passes, the incidents can become more frequent and more violent.

During the tension building phase many victims say they are walking on eggshells around the abuser; dreading the explosion that is going to happen.

Anything can trigger an incident and it’s not the victims’ fault when it does happen. All of us, including an abuser, have a choice about how we will react to a situation. The “blow up” can start and end suddenly or continue off and on for a few days.

This if followed by the making up or “honeymoon” phase of the cycle. The abuser may be sorry, promise to change, give gifts or simply blame the victim for the incident and not take any responsibility for what happened.

A period of calm will follow and things may get back to normal for a time until the tension builds again, there is another incident, followed by the making up phase and a period of calm. This repeats over and over again in a vicious cycle of abuse.