Understanding The Cycle of Domestic Abuse

There is a useful model of the cycle of violence that explains the complexity and co-existence of abuse with loving behaviors. It helps those who have not experienced domestic violence in their life to understand that breaking the cycle of domestic violence is more complicated than just “getting out” or leaving.  It also helps those who may be caught in domestic violence situations and who do not recognize the cycle, to better understand their situations.

Any domestic abuse lawyer in Hernando County, FL, will recognize this pattern. Typically, there are three phases in the cycle of violence: (1) The Tension-Building Phase, (2) Acute or Crisis Phase, and (3) Calm or Honeymoon Phase. Any domestic abuse lawyer will also tell you that without intervention, both the severity and frequency of the abuse increases over time.

Crisis Phase

  • Blow Ups
  • Worse Than Before
  • Threats
  • Fear For Your and Your Child’s Safety
  • Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse

Calm Phase

  • Their Old Loving Self
  • Promises To Get Help
  • Apologies
  • Declarations of “I Love You”

Tension Phase

Walking On Egg Shells

Things Have To Be Perfect

Constant Worrying Of “What If”

Feeling “Something” Is About To Happen

Researcher Lenore Walker developed the cycle of violence as a tool used by domestic abuse lawyers, victims, and many others who work in the field or are researching domestic violence as a subject.