The domestic violence cycle is often times characterized as build-up, blow-up, make-up.
That particular cycle, over the course of a relationship, usually speeds up, with less and less time in the honeymoon or make-up stage, and more and more time in the build-up and blow-up stages, and the violence becomes more and more dangerous.
My first exposure to the idea of the cycle of violence through the work of Lenore Walker and the early researchers and commentators involved in the development of the Duluth model.
"Questions of power and control are integral to the widely utilized Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. They developed the "Power and Control Wheel" to illustrate this: it has power and control at the center, surrounded by spokes (techniques used), the titles of which include:
* Coercion and threats
* Emotional abuse
* Minimizing, denying and blaming
* Using children
* Economic abuse
* Male privilege
The model attempts to address abuse by one-sidedly challenging the misuse of power by the 'perpetrator'.
Critics of this model suggest that the one-sided focus is problematic as resolution can only be achieved when all participants acknowledge their responsibilities, and identify and respect mutual purpose."
Lenore Walker presented the model of a Cycle of Violence which consists of three basic phases:
Honeymoon Phase Characterized by affection, apology, and apparent end of violence. During this stage the batterer feels overwhelming feelings of remorse and sadness. Some batterers walk away from the situation, while others shower their victims with love and affection.
Tension Building Phase Characterized by poor communication, tension, fear of causing outbursts. During this stage the victims try to calm the batterer down, to avoid any major violent confrontations.
Acting-out Phase Characterized by outbursts of violent, abusive incidents. During this stage the batterer attempts to dominate his/her partner(victim), with the use of domestic violence.
Although it is easy to see the outbursts of the Acting-out Phase as abuse, even the more pleasant behaviours of the Honeymoon Phase serve to perpetuate the abuse. See also the cycle of abuse article.
Many domestic violence advocates believe that the cycle of violence theory is limited and does not reflect the realities of many men and women experiencing domestic violence.
The initial exposure of the issue of domestic violence grew from the Women's Movement, and feminism, beginning in the 1970's, and served us well to demonstrate the wide spread amount of violence happening in our houses.
However, as with all attempts to define and theorize solutions, research has not validated the initial ideas in regards to patriarchy and the cycle of violence.
Family violence including elder abuse, sibling abuse, pet abuse, spousal abuse, whether male to female, or female to male, or child abuse appears to be rampant in families all over the world.
The impact on a child of seeing or experiencing any of these kinds of violence in his or her household is life changing and forever.
That child's brain is changed forever, and can be the brain that continues what Hank Williams Jr. called "the old family tradition."
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.
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