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Stages Of Domestic Violence

Stage One: Tension Building Phase

• This phase is typically the longest of the three pages, on average lasting several weeks.

• During this stage, the abuser may consistently be in a negative mood and commit minor assaults, damage property or make threats.

• The victim may try to appease their abuser by giving in and satisfying their needs, calming them down or avoiding confrontation.

• These actions will be temporary fixes but will not stop the violence from occurring.

• At this stage, the victim feels as if they are walking on eggshells, worrying that their decisions will have extreme consequences.

Stage Two: The Explosion Phase

• This stage is typically the shortest phase in the cycle of violence, only lasting 1-2 days.

• Usually the most violent phase.

• During this stage, the abuse may take different forms such as emotional, physical, sexual, verbal or psychological abuse.

• The explosion phase is often unexpected and triggered by an external event or the abuser’s emotional state. The trigger is NOT the victim’s behavior.

• The victim may try to fight back, flee the abuser or try to appease the abuser during this stage.

• Eventually this phase will end when the abuser attempts to make amends with the victim, leaving to the next phase.

Unfortunately, the abuser will not typically be reprimanded for their behavior.

Stage Three: The Honeymoon Phase

• During this stage, the abuser begins to feel remorse for their actions.

• They may declare their love for the victim, apologize, and promise to never again be abusive in order to avoid ruining their relationship or police intervention.

• At this point, the abuser will start to shower the victim with expensive gifts and attention.

• But, in some extreme cases, the abuser may use self-harm or suicide threats to force the victim to forgive them.

• If police were called, the victim may stop the investigation or attempt to get the charges dropped by lying about the injuries and events that took place during the previous stage.

• The victim forgives the abuser in hopes they will stop their abusive behaviors, but eventually the abuser’s gestures will subside, and the cycle will begin again…

Leaving an abusive relationship is not easy and can be very dangerous! Don’t feel like you are stuck in your situation with nowhere to go, because we can help you! Homesafe offers emergency shelter, legal services, and much more! We are here any time of day, give us a call 440-992-2727 or 1-800-95-ABUSE

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