A vicious cycle

Violence committed in a domestic context is part of what we call the “cycle of domestic violence.” This cycle is put into motion and controlled by the perpetrator. This allows him to maintain his domination over his partner. In a violent intimate relationship, this cycle repeats itself over and over, and exacerbates with time.

PHASE 1 : Tension

Perpetrators fly into a rage, give their partner threatening looks, and fall silent for long periods.

Victims feel anxious, try to lighten the atmosphere, and are careful about what they say and do.

PHASE 2 : Crisis

Perpetrators verbally, psychologically, physically, sexually, or economically attack the other person.

Victims feel humiliated, sad, and see the situation as unfair.

PHASE 3 : Justification

Perpetrators make excuses for their behaviour.

Victims try to understand the explanations, help the perpetrator change, doubt their own perceptions, and feel responsible for the situation.

PHASE 4 : Honeymoon

Perpetrators beg for forgiveness and talk about therapy or suicide.

Victims give the perpetrator another chance, offer help, acknowledge the perpetrator’s efforts, and modify their own behaviour.

Cycle of domestic violence
Do something.

Defuse the violence.
In order for a person trapped in the cycle of domestic violence to free herself, intervention by a family member or friend is often necessary. Offer her your support to stop these unacceptable and often criminal acts.

Source : REGROUPEMENT PROVINCIAL DES MAISONS D’HÉBERGEMENT ET DE TRANSITION POUR FEMMES VICTIMES DE VIOLENCE CONJUGALE. La violence conjugale… C’est quoi au
juste?
, 1st quarter 2006.