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The Cycle of Violence From The Battered Woman by Lenore Walker, 1979.
Please note the terms "batterer" and "victim" are not used to pathologize, criticize or blame individuals. Please note, marital counseling is NOT helpful (and sometimes not safe) for domestic violence relationships.
Phase One: Tension Building
- Batterer becomes more agitated and angry.
- Victim is compliant; tries to placate Batterer.
- Victim minimizes problems and denies anger.
- Batterer takes more control.
- Victim withdraws to avoid setting Batterer off.
- Tension becomes unbearable.
Phase Two: Acute Battering
- Severe battering or verbal abuse takes place.
- Batterer unpredictable; claims loss of control.
- Victim is helpless and feels trapped.
- Batterer is highly abusive.
- Victim is traumatized.
- This phase is shorter than Phase One.
Phase Three: The Honeymoon
- Batterer is apologetic, remorseful, loving and kind.
- Batterer makes promises (to get help, quit drinking, etc.).
- Victim wants to believe Batterer and feels responsible.
- Victim is least likely to flee in this phase.
Cycle Repeats with Increased Intensity
Life On Their Terms
Is My Partner Abusive?
The Cycle of Violence
Dangers of Staying
Healing From an Abusive Relationship
Online Support, Information and Resources
The 12 Step Cyber Café offers excellent online help in recovering from unhealthy relationships.
National Domestic Violence Hotline site offers a wealth of information on domestic violence and getting help.
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