Domestic violence may seem random, unpredictable, simply an outburst related just to the circumstances in the lives of the people involved. However, domestic violence typically follows a certain pattern no matter when it occurs or who is involved. The pattern, or cycle, repeats; each time the level of his violence may rise. At every stage in the cycle, the abuser is fully in control of him or herself and is working to control and further isolate his or her victim.
Understanding the cycle of violence and the thinking of the abuser helps survivors recognize they truly are not to blame for the violence they have suffered and that the abuser is the one responsible.
Certain and distinct stages make up the cycle of violence: the set-up, the abuse, the abuser’s feelings of “guilt” and his/her fear of reprisal, his/her rationalization, his/her shift to non-abusive and charming behavior, and his fantasies and plans for the next time he/she will abuse.
The cycle of domestic violence in 4 stages
The cycle of domestic violence is what experts call a pattern that would help them determine the abusive behaviors that are present in a relationship. Knowing these 4 stages in the cycle of domestic violence is important to be able to assess a possible occurrence of the abuse and also to avert any possible problems later on.
1. The build-up of tension
The abuse or start of domestic violence according to research and interviews from victims is usually caused by built-up tension. Building up negative emotions such as anger, frustration, feeling of powerlessness, jealousy, paranoia, and many others can make a person cause harm to other people. While the build-up of tension can be caused by emotions, it can also be through other factors such as fatigue, disagreements at work, certain issues with relatives, and so much more. Also, regardless of the magnitude or size of the issue, the tension builds up over time which then becomes a giant bomb in the end.
One way to prevent any possibility of domestic violence and abuse is to simply assess if a person is undergoing a build-up of tension. While asking them directly if they are dealing with pent-up tension may not be ideal, you should be able to determine it through their actions, the way they speak, and how they do things. Once a build-up of tension is confirmed, make an effort to support them emotionally as well as physically to help them get through the tension. One proven way to deal with others’ tension is to let them feel that someone cares for them and is ready to help them.
2. The occurrence of abuse
When the build-up of tension is not averted, the abuser will then attempt to regain his or her control and superiority by hurting others – or through abuse. Depending on the built-up tension and the control of the abuser, he or she can cause a light degree of abuse such as name-calling or insulting and light physical violence, to extreme violence such as forced sex, emotional manipulation, and even a threat to kill.
According to experts, abusers do this with the thinking that their partner made them do it.
3. The Reconciliation Stage
After the abuse, the tension will likely fade or diminish over time. After some time, the abuser will try to relieve the thought of the abuse on their partner by using kindness and gifts, as well as gestures that would indicate that they care for their partner. This then makes the abused partner think that the abuser is sorry for his or her actions. Also, the abused partner will then think that the abuse will no longer happen again, so the abused partner forgives and forgets the abuse.
4. The calming Stage
The last stage would be the stage when both parties have calmed down and are no longer wary about the abuse that has happened. Among the things that are expected to happen at this stage would be: the abuser apologizes but blames others for the abuse, points external causes of the behavior, denies the abuse, puts the blame on their partner for the abuse.
These are the four stages that make up the cycle of domestic abuse, and it is something that recurs or happens over and over again. The alarming thing about this cycle is that it is very effective in removing the doubts as well as suspicions toward the aggressor or the abuser. After the fourth stage, the victim feels that his or her partner is now stable and free of any tension.
The frequency or the time when the cycle happens again is unknown. It can start again just as soon as it has been completed or it would take a few months or years for it to start again. It is also the same with each stage, while it may take a while to build up the tension, the occurrence of the abuse can also happen for an extended time, and so with the others. For professional help, simply check out our page carrillo2 and we’ll reach out to you right away.
What to do
Knowing these stages, you can predict when domestic violence will happen. Not only are you able to keep the person from getting abused, but you are also able to stop the abuser from committing any permanent mistake from a temporary problem.
As soon as you see any of these stages in the cycle of domestic abuse, you must take immediate action to avoid worsening the issue. A first step that you can take would be to avoid anything that would initiate tension on the aggressor or abuser. If possible, keep a distance away from the abuser to relieve any tension. A good option to pursue is to temporarily stay at a friend’s house or a relative’s house.
Also, make sure not to remind or bring up anything that would initiate tension from the person. As much as possible, avoid topics that would cause anger, jealousy, fear, or any negative emotion toward the abuser to avoid physical abuse.
And most importantly, make sure to contact a domestic violence attorney in stockton to help you with your problem. This is especially important if you’re dealing with the worst kind of domestic violence which happens over and over with the mentioned cycle.