This week I’m discussing the abuse stage in the cycle of violence. This is the second of the three stages: tension building, abuse, and honeymoon phase. Remember, all forms of abuse are about manipulation and control. Each part of the cycle is equally controlling. This cycle repeats itself throughout the course of the relationship and can also be part of the reason why people stay in an abusive relationship for so long. Keep in mind each stage can last from days to years.
During the tension building stage, the potential for abuse is there. Normally there is a trigger which brings the tension to a climax and then abuse occurs. Abuse can be in the form of physical, sexual, and/or extreme emotional abuse.
The promises made during the honeymoon phase to the partner are broken. The abuser has gone back to old behaviors. The victim often doesn’t recognize this is a cycle.
If children are involved in the relationship, they are often exposed to the abuse. This is a dangerous and damaging situation for them as well. Even if they are not abused, seeing the abusive relationship has long-term consequences.
Next week I will conclude this topic with the honeymoon phase. I hope this series has helped you understand the relationship between an abuser and abused in order to help the victim and give her/him the resources available to help them leave the relationship.
If you’re being abused or know someone who is, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help. 1-800-799-7233.
Remember, if we can help just one victim, we’ve done our job.