What is the ‘Cycle of Abuse’?
The ‘Cycle of Abuse’ serves to illustrate the methodology, process, and systematic manifestation of abusive relationships; this ideology not only outlines the events leading up to domestic violence cases, but also the itemization of the gradual unfolding of events resulting in domestic violence.
Within the Cycle of Abuse study, Dr. Walker cites the 4 stages of abuse and domestic violence; these stages range from the inception of domestic violence to the tragic and devastating aftereffects:
The building – or rising – of tension is considered to be the first phase of the Cycle of Abuse, which manifests itself through passive aggression, the facilitation of distance on the part of the abuser towards the abused partner, and the establishment of a nervous, tense, and agitated state within the romantic relationship:
The enactment of the abusive incident in question is considered to be the second phase of the Cycle of Abuse, which is classified as the abusive action or expression manifesting itself; abuse taking place within the ‘incident’ phase can include spousal abuse that is physical, emotional, or sexual in nature:
The ‘Incident’ phase results in the establishment of intimidation in order to facilitate the abuse taking place
The sense of calm and peace subsequent to the abusive incident is considered to be the fourth phase of the Cycle of Abuse, which involves the period following the apology or expressed sense of remorse on the part of the abuser; during this phase, the abuser will typically present a temporary change in behavior absent of the ability to maintain that change on a permanent basis – furthermore, Dr. Walker explains that during the ‘Calm’ phase, the respective romantic partners may feel a sense of extreme closeness:
Typically, a sentiment of forgiveness or disregard for the prior abuse is not only implicit, but expected within the ‘Calm’ phase; however, the danger reported within the ‘Cycle of Abuse’ study is primarily evident with regard to the repetitive nature innate within this cycle
Reporting Abusive Relationship Signs
In the event that any of the prospective signs and applicable circumstances latent within the Cycle of Abuse are applicable to you your current situation – or cases that have occurred in the past – you are encouraged to contact their local authorities or law enforcement department in order to report the details of the offense; you are encouraged to report any type of abuse or abusive relationship signs to which you become privy – ultimately, reporting domestic violence could be a life-saving act.