Cycle of Abuse

 

Abuse typically follows the cycle pictured above.

Tension Building

  • Tension starts and steadily builds
  • Abuser starts to get angry
  • Communication breaks down
  • Victim feels the need to concede to the abuser
  • Tension becomes too much
  • Victim feels uneasy and a need to watch every move

Confrontation

  • Any type of abuse occurs
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional

Reconciliation phase

  • Abuser apologizes for abuse, some beg forgiveness or show sorrows
  • Abuser may promise it will never happen again
  • Blames victim for provoking the abuse or denies abuse occurred
  • Minimizing, denying or claiming the abuse wasn’t as bad as victim claims

Calm / Honeymoon phase

  • Abuses slow or stop
  • Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
  • Promises made during reconciliation stage may be met
  • Abuser may give gifts to victim
  • Victim believes or wants to believe the abuse is over or the abuser will change