The Cycle of Domestic Violence In 6 Stages

the cycle of abuse

Abuse is a dynamic process. You have probably noticed that your abusive partner can be sweet and then violent again. Check how it works.

The cycle of abuse consists of six phases and if you want to stop domestic violence you need to be aware of that so that you stick to your assertive attitude when the abuser will apologize, but later starts abusive behaviour again. Here are the six phases of domestic abuse:

1. Abuse

Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behaviour. It is characterized by outbursts of violent, abusive incidents which may be preceded by verbal abuse and also include psychological abuse. During this stage, the abuser attempts to dominate his partner with the use of domestic violence. The abuse is a power play designed to show you “who is the boss.” Read more.

2. Guilt

After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what he has done to you. He may begin to feel remorse, guilty feelings, or fear that you will leave or call the police. The abuser will not like to become a criminal and have problems because of that. Read more.

3. Excuses

Your abuser rationalizes what he has done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for the abusive behaviour—anything to avoid taking responsibility. Here is the list of the most common excuses that you can meet in that phase:

  • “I was having a bad day.”
  • “It won’t happen again.”
  • “You got me upset.”
  • Read more.

4. “Normal” Behaviour

Some call this phase “honeymoon”. The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened. Therefore, you need to be vigilant during this phase. it will not last forever and your abusive partner will start preparing for the next outbreak of abuse.

5. Fantasy And Planning

Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. He spends a lot of time thinking about what you have done wrong and how he will make you pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.Read more.

6. Set-up

Your abuser sets you up and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing you. Tension increases and he may also provoke you to take action which will justify his abusive action. This can be a very subtle provocation, manipulative behaviour, just necessary to “fire” the abusive acts. Read more.


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