The Cycle Of Abuse

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Oh wow, abusers seem to be having a heck of a time. Don’t you think? Well yeah, they’ve won the reward of a favorable public reputation. And the quality of being famous for the mastery of their profession. This is because of the appellative recognition given to them since the onset of domestic violence awareness campaign.

However, although this is so because of our consistency in publicly raising awareness on domestic abuse, the causes, and triggers of the abuser’s actions, inflictions, and damage doesn’t qualify to justify him or her. Nor should these reasons be used as a rationale for their indisputable and inhumane behaviors. In actual fact, the abuser needs a great deal of ‘HELP’ to rid themselves from the destructive behaviors they inhabit. Or ultimately isolate themselves to a solitary and lonely life.

The study of these possible causes and reasons, however, are only to enlighten and bring to our understanding why abusers believe their actions to be flawless and why it is only rational that they receive a punishment worthy of their actions as well.

Causes of Domestic Violence

These causes vary as a result of the diverse habits picked up by reckless abusers. Thus, leading to the interlinking of these causes to form a generalized cycle of abuse (or violence…choose your pick). But before we take a look at this ‘abusive relationship cycle’, let’s have an in-depth study on why abusers tend to take certain actions or make certain decisions that pertain to the ‘well-being/abuse’ of their partners and loved ones.

On that note, this is ‘Proud Me’ arousing the ideal ‘You’ to stand tall with a chest high and out as you emerge victorious striving for excellence in your home and attitudinal behaviors. Today we provide you with quality information you could use to help all those around you trapped in such situations.

Why does an abuser do what he does?

  • First and foremost, domestic abuse starts when one partner feels a need to dominate, control and enforce authority over the other partner.
  • Abusers feel this need due to a variety of reasons some of which are low self-esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties in regulating anger and many other strong emotions.
  • Some may feel inferior to the other partner in education and socioeconomic upbringing.
  • Several others with extreme traditional belief tend to think they have the right to control their spouse. And that women aren’t equal to men.
  • Aside that fact, a couple more have cultivated such habits due to varying childhood experiences. And growing up in a domestically violent surrounding.
  • And as probability would have it, some suffer an undiagnosed personality or psychological disorder.


Now, these causes do not only necessarily define reasons for their actions but also shows the linkage between the ever running cycle of abuse wheel.

In a short while, we’d zoom a bit deeper in our area of discussion and explore the components of the abuse cycle. But before that, here are some questions to ponder over:

“Who is to blame – the abuser or the victim? Could it be only the abuser’s fault or did the victim have a slightly unforeseen hand at play in the heated moments?”

The Abuse Cycle

Originally developed in 1979, by Lenore E. Walker, the social cycle theory by purpose explains sequential patterns of behavior in an abusive relationship. In other wordings, it is also known as the abusive relationship cycle. This discovery was birth after a total of 1,500 women were interviewed by Walker himself which led to the uncovering of trending patterns of abuse known as the abuse cycle or violence cycle.

This cycle of abuse wheel consists of four main stages (phases) – growing from the ‘trigger’ of the violence to the materialization of the abuser’s delusional retaliations.

Phases of the Cycle of Violence

More often than not, the cycle would follow the succeeding order or trend and repeat continuously until the conflict has been dealt with. Either by the victim completely forsaking the relationship or other forms of interventions taking place.

  1. Tension Building

As stress persists in growth due to the several pressures of one’s daily life, these tend to raise some level tension on the part of the batterer. Hence, leading to the abuser feeling ignored, annoyed, threatened or wronged. Pressures such as conflict over children, marital issues, misunderstandings, or other family conflicts may arouse such feelings.

And to top it all up, other factors such as illness, legal or financial problems, unemployment, or catastrophic events etc. are considered as contributors to its build-up. During this period, the feelings may last several minutes to hours and may also extend as much as several months.

Consequently, victims may try to reduce tension to avoid chances of violence. And they do this by nurturing and becoming compliant. However, to get the abuse over with, they tend to prepare for violence. However, if the abuser feels provoked in any way and decides to act on his feelings, he’s not justified in engaging in that abusive behavior.

  1. Acute Violence

This is the main scene of the abuse cycle. The most overt phase of an abusive relationship. In this stage, the abuser tends to intensify his brutality over his partner. It is his attempt to dominate her through domestic violence acts. Unfortunately, for the victim, the abuser would express ‘love’ in an excruciating manner. And would surely make hell out of her living by diverse methods such as kicking, hitting, shoving, beating, throwing objects, etc.

And these may also include others such as:

  • sexual abuse,
  • emotional abuse,
  • stalking, neglect,
  • economic deprivation,
  • intimidation
  • and other extremely controlling behaviors.
  1. Reconciliation

In the reconciliation stage, the perpetrator feels remorse and apologizes for harming his partner. He may also feel, or fear that their partner will leave or call the police. As a result, the abuser tends to become overly affectionate and caring. Or he chooses to ignore the abusive incidents or levy blame on his victim to some extent. This phase marks the end of the incidence of abuse.

  1. Calm

This stage which is sometimes considered as the extension of the honeymoon phase/reconciliation phase.

During it, the abuser exhibits a greater level of effort in trying to please and be kind to his partner. In this phase, he also ensures that he restrains himself as much as possible from harming his partner. Hence, the abusive relationship seems relatively peaceful and serene. This causes the victim to believe there is indeed a change in the abuser.

Then, an outburst of violence occurs. This is because conflicts are inevitable in an abusive relationship. Then the cycle starts afresh from the tension building phase.


    1. Oh wow, Priya. Am really glad you loved it. Thank you so much for your kind words. And please, do pardon my late reply. Oh yes, feel at home and have fun exploring other fascinating articles and features on the site. 😀

      Have a glorious day!! 🙂

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