by Restorations Therapy Center Staff on Friday, October 15th, 2021
It is important to note that domestic abuse occurs in a cycle, and recognizing this cycle can help victims understand what is happening and work to stop it.
There are four stages in the cycle of abuse: tension building, the incident, rationalizing/justifying, and the “calm,” or honeymoon stage. Each stage brings about stress for the victim and can vary in length.
Tension building usually is triggered by an outside stressor, like work, money, or children. In this stage, the abuser may:
The victim will typically react to the abuser by trying to calm them down in any way. They might:
The incident following the build-up of tension will vary, as with every stage in the cycle of abuse.
The incident is categorized by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. It is triggered by the abuser’s emotional state and can result in many different actions. The abuser might:
The victim, in this stage, tries to protect themselves in any way they can. This may be by:
The incident may happen once or over and over for some time.
After the incident has occurred, the abuser may try to rationalize their behavior or justify the situation. This stage usually confuses the victim. The abuser may:
The victim becomes confused about the abuser’s intentions and may even question their own version of the event.
At this stage, the abuser begins to apologize for their actions and reassure the victim they will improve. They may show this by:
The victim, desiring safety, may feel refreshed by hearing expressions of love they hadn’t heard in a while. They may:
This honeymoon stage could be a time where the abuse can be identified. If the victim is unaware that abuse comes in a cycle, though, they may genuinely believe that things will turn around for the better without outside help.
It is essential to be aware of the cycle of abuse and that it will not cease naturally. The cycle will differ amongst relationships. The abuse will get worse as the cycle continues, and seeking outside help and treatment is the only route to break it. If you need healing from an abusive relationship or are seeking couples counseling, we are here to help at Restorations Therapy. Our customizable treatment plans and dedicated staff will help you live a healthy life. Call us today at (720) 446-6585.
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