The cycle of violence (female)

Abuse is neither constant nor random 3 phases very in time and intensity. Phases tend to occur with increasing frequency and increasing severity if cycle is not broken.

Phase I

-becomes nurturing, compliant, will stay out of his way

-accepts the abuse as being direct against her, she doesn’t believe that what she does can prevent his anger from escalating


-provides a sense of safety-deny anger

-rationalizes that perhaps she deserves it or it could be worse

-blames external factors, work, alcohol

-denies that escalation will occur

-deny increase of battering

-Believes she has control

-attempts to alter his behavior as a way of providing safety

Phase II

-in long term battering, she may try to bring on an incident not stopping it, expecting it, and skills to control the severity

-anxious, depressed, sleepless, over/under eating, fatigue, tension, headaches, an option is hiding

-senses futility to trying to “resist’ further battering

-does not seek help unless severely injured

Phase III Honeymoon

-victimization is complete, woman sees his depression as extreme need for her as deep love

-she feels responsible for what happened, she believes in the permanency of her relationship and believes it is her responsibility to keep it together, is an easy prey for guilt

-she believes if she stays he’ll get help

-she wants to believe she will no longer have to suffer abuse, fantasizes on how wonderful it will be, that this is what her man is really like

-her self esteem is shattered, she needs to believe she is needed or wanted


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