The Cycle of Abuse

cycle of abuse, domestic violence, domestic violence relationships, DuPage County family law attorneys, verbal abuse Millions of women, and men as well, are trapped in a cycle of domestic violence that keeps them from leaving their abusive partner. According to the Domestic Violence Round Table, the cycle consists of three phases: the tension building phase, the acute battering episode, and the honeymoon phase.

For the abuser, the goal of the relationship is to wield power over his or her partner, and by quickly apologizing and pleading with the victim to not leave him or her after he or she has  lashed out. This can cause great confusion and mixed emotions for the abused.

Often, it takes dozens of attempts to leave an abusive partner. However, a compassionate DuPage County attorney can help.

The Tension Building Phase

Because domestic violence relationships exist in a cycle, there is no real beginning or end phase. However, the abuse starts with a period of tension building. During this period, emotions rise over various triggers, such as finances, work, children, or other issues. While this phase involves verbal abuse, the victim will often attempt to stave off the impending violence by pleasing the abuser, which rarely works.

Acute Battering Episode

The acute battery episode involves physical violence, and is essentially out of control of the victim. His or her actions do not cause the violence; usually it is an external factor and the abuser’s own internal state of mind. However, experts believe that some victims may subconsciously provoke the abuser to attack the individual so that he or she can move out of the tension building phase and into the honeymoon phase.

In non-violent abusive relationships, the battery episode may include increased psychological control, such as threatening violence, cutting off bank account access, or taking away other “privileges” like driving or caring for the children, according to the National Center for Health Research.

The Honeymoon Phase

The acute battering phase is followed by a period in which the abuser expresses sorrow and remorse for his or her actions. During this honeymoon phase, the abuser apologizes, convinces the victim that the abuse will never happen again, and expresses love and generosity. The bond between the couple is strengthened and it seems like everything will be perfect in the future. This is just part of the psychological mind game that the abuser is playing. Even though he or she may generally believe that he or she will have a turning point, it is extremely unlikely that the abuser will, as his or her history undoubtedly has shown.

Call an Attorney for Help

Our dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys have assisted countless clients in starting new lives free from psychological and physical abuse. After getting to a safe place, an order of protection is the first legal step, and divorcing or separating from the abuser is the next. Call the law offices of Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC today for assistance.


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