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The Cycle of Violence

Phase 1: Tension Building Phase

Victim Feels: Angry, hopeless, tense, afraid, and depressed.

Victim Behavior: Submissive, “walks on eggshells.”

Partner Feels: Tense, frustrated, or disgusted.

Partner Behavior: Verbal abuse, silence, is controlling, demanding, and irritable.

Phase 2: Violent Explosion Phase

Victim Feels: Frightened, helpless, or numb.

Victim Behavior: Protect him/herself, hit back, or submit helplessly.

Partner Feels: Angry, she/he’s always right, frustrated.

Partner Behavior: Dangerously violent, deliberately trying to hurt or kill, irrational, has a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” syndrome.

Phase 3: Honeymoon Phase

Victim Feels: Relieved, angry, resentful, and guilty.

Victim Behavior: Excuses for batterer, withdrawn, tries to solve or prevent future incidences, hopes, strongly believes changes will last.

Partner Feels: Apologetic, forgetful about degree of violence, unable to understand why the victim is still angry.

Partner Behaves: promises to change, blames her or others for problems. Can be charming, may bring flowers or other gifts. Believes he will be able to control his anger in the future.

* Many other feelings or behaviors may be associated with each phase.

If you feel that you are or might be in an abusive relationship, you don’t have to go through it alone.  The Center for Violence-Free Relationships is here to help and has numerous resources available to you.  Please call today (530) 626-1131 or (916) 939-6616.