Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Cycle of Violence

The cycle of violence is the pattern that develops in an abusive relationship where there are good times and bad times and times wherein the victim knows the abuse is preparing to happen again.

Examples where both partners contribute to the cycle of violence include the victim apologizing for having caused the perpetrator to attack (whether verbally or physically doesn't matter), both of them finding excuses for the behavior of the batterer - such as having had too much to drink, too much stress on the job, being an adult victim of child abuse, etc. (even if partially true, the batterer must take responsibility and stop blaming things outside themselves for "causing" them to act this way), the belief that the woman is beholden to the man in all aspects (usually a cultural or religious influence on this one, or the fear of being able to make it on one's own without the "provider" who also happens to be the batterer.

The cycle of violence can be stopped first of all by separating. Although this can be literally dangerous depending on the situation, shelters are available for women where active protections exist to prevent a violent partner from harming them. Counseling is also available for one or both partners and works well when the batterer has come to recognize that they have a problem and seek counseling. The victim is helped by counseling because they need to understand that they have not caused the person to hurt them and to help them improve their self-image enough to avoid falling back into such treatment in the future.

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