Are you in a cycle of violence?
There are three phases of the domestic violence cycle
During this phase, the victim is constantly walking on eggshells. They are afraid to speak on trivial issues. There is a lot of fear and guilt felt by the victim. For example, if the victim doesn’t make the abuser dinner correctly he/she fears being threatened or physically abused. The tension in this phase is at an all-time high. The victim will do anything to keep the peace even if it jeopardizes their self-worth and or respect.
This stage is the most dreadful! During this stage violence (emotional, physical and financial and/or sexual) actually occurs. The victim may experience hitting, biting, unwanted sexual advances, stalking, psychological/emotional abuse, controlling behaviors, shoving, kicking, throwing of objects, neglect, and financial abuse. A victim during this stage of feels worthless and helpless.
During this stage, the abuser focuses most of their attention and energy on regaining the victim’s trust. They may shower the victim with lavish gifts, attention, and kindness. The abuser will be overly affectionate, offer apologies and even ignore what took place. They may even blame the victim for the abuse using a very sentimental tone to avoid being aggressive. Most times if the victim threatens to leave the relationship the abuser will use the idea of suicide to convince the victim to stay. The abuser will also promise that the abuse will never happen again. The victim will often times believe the abuser, in that the abuse will stop, only for another incident to occur and this vicious cycle then repeats itself.
If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse please reach out to professionals who can help. Below is
a resource for support.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Ranika Martin, MSW, LCSW-C, CBT+