The Cycle of Abuse
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Cycle of Abuse


Tension Building Phase . The tension builds.

Battering Episode . The violence happens.

The Honeymoon Phase . regrets are expressed, apologies and promises are made.

The Tension Building Phase

  • The batterer is angry, edgy, jealous, explosive, and rages.

  • The victim and children sense the tensions and try to pacify the abusive person to prevent the abuse. The victim may do this by being more respectful, more caring, blaming himself/herself for the abuser.s anger, being more accommodating, feeling guilty.

The Battering Episode

  • The batterer.s rage escalates.

  • The batterer acts out and is physically violent. Victim sustains injuries.

  • The victim is in shock and disbelief that the incident has occurred. The victim is fearful, angry, confused, and in pain. Victim also accepts the myth tat the batterer cannot control his/her anger.

The Honeymoon Phase

  • The batterer is contrite and apologetic. He/she makes promises to .get help,. .to change,. and .to go to counseling..

  • The batterer is charming and loving. He/she offers gifts such as jewelry, flowers, perfume, or candy to apologize for his/her behavior.

  • The victim believes the batterer and is hopeful that the physical violence will stop.

  • The batterer begins to elicit feelings of guilt and sympathy from the victim.

  • As the time passes, the honeymoon phase may shrink to a shorter period of time or become nonexistent.