Friday, November 22, 2013

Cycle of Abuse

The Cycle of Abuse keeps you fearful and off balance both emotionally and psychologically. Look at the diagram of the cycle shown above... do you recognize this vicious and devastating wheel spinning within your relationship?

In the 1970s,  Lenore Walker developed the theory that most forms of abuse occur within a distinct pattern or cycle. Within an established relationship, the same pattern emerges time after time and is repeated, often becoming more intense

For many victims of relationship violence, it's difficult to recognize when a pattern of abuse has developed. Instead, they often see abusive behaviors as isolated, unrelated incidents. Yet, abuse often happens in patterns or cycles. Abusive episodes are interspersed with periods of calm, loving support, and behaviors that are nurturing and caring typical of the behaviors that initially drew the two partners together. However, the abusive pattern that develops can often become predictable and leading to a source of tension, which evolves into the abusive incident or violence, once again followed by the period of making amends and a period of calm…only to be repeated again.  How often the cycle repeats is different for each relationship. Just know that the cycle does repeat and research has demonstrated that the abuse can escalate over time. 


·       abuser starts to get angry

·       threats, verbal insults

·       fear, guilt – feel like you are “walking on egg shells”

·       unpredictable behavior

Abuse Occurs

·       any incident of physical, psychological, emotional abuse

·       may include financial abuse

Making Amends

·       abuser apologizes for abuse

·       abuser promises it won’t happen again

·       may buy gifts, flowers etc to say “ I am sorry”

·       may try to blame victim for the abusive behavior


·       similar to making amends cycle

·       promises made during the making amends cycle may be met

·       abuser may act like the abuse never happened

·       victim may hope that the abuse is over


Does any of this sound familiar to you or do you know a friend in a similar situation…. If so TALK WITH SOMEONE!!  There are resources out there to help you.


If on campus, please dial 11 for Public Safety or contact them at 516 323 3500. Also, please contact Personal Counseling Center at 516 323 3484

If off campus, dial 911 for police or
 Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence at their 24 hour hotline   516 542 0404

Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence at their 24 hour hotline  631 666 8833

 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at their 24 hour hotline  800 799 safe(7233)

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