Cycle of Abuse

1. Tension Building

A minor conflict, lasting a few hours to months, causes tension to build. During this period, there may be the feeling of “walking on eggshells.” 

2. Violent Episode

The tension explodes into an emotionally and/or physically abusive incident. Most often, the victim of the abuse blames himself/herself, or the abuser blames the victim, for the incident.

3. Honeymoon Period

The abuser apologizes to the victim and expresses remorse, often buying gifts and promising to change. This minimizes the seriousness of the incident, and tension starts to build again.