Cycle of Violence

The cycle of violence is a model developed to explain the complexity and co-existence of abuse with loving behaviors. It helps those who have never experienced domestic violence understand that breaking the cycle of violence is much more complicated than just “getting out” or leaving.

There are three phases in the cycle of violence:

(1) Tension-Building Phase,

(2) Acute or Crisis Phase, and

(3) Calm or Honeymoon Phase. Without intervention, the frequency and severity of the abuse tends to increase over time.

Over a period of time there may be changes to the cycle. The honeymoon phase may become shorter, and the tension and violence may increase. Some victims report that they never experience an apologetic or loving abuser, but simply see a decrease in tension before the start of a new cycle.

As the cycle starts, the victim starts going in and out of the relationship. It often takes many attempts to make a final decision to leave for good. Feelings of guilt, insecurity, and concern for children’s well-being play a strong role in the victim’s decision-making process. If you find yourself a victim of domestic violence, please learn about safe steps to take action and keep yourself and your children safe. Click on this link for more information about shelters: Shelter for Help. Locally there are safe houses who can help: In Loveland, CO, Alternatives to Violence; In Fort Collins, CO, Crossroads Safehouse; In Greeley, Women to Women. For a better understanding of what abuse is, please see my blogs: Verbal Abuse in Relationships and Abuses Defined. Please call and make an appointment today if you are a victim and would like to seek counseling at the link at the top of this page.

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Fort Collins, CO 80524
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