Why does violence sometimes repeat itself?
While abusive behaviour can be repetitive, it's important to note that abuse does not always occur in a cyclical pattern. Abuse can be unpredictable and it is never OK.
When abuse is described as a cycle, it's often separated into four stages.
1. Tension building
This is when the abuser starts to get angry. The potential victim may try to calm their partner down.
2. The incident
This is the moment when an abusive event happens. Abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual.
3. The honeymoon period
In this stage, the abuser appears to feel remorse for their actions, and they typically ask for forgiveness or promise not to repeat the behaviour. Some abusers will also try to push the blame on their victim during this phase or downplay the severity of the situation.
4. The calm
Abuse is absent during this stage. The person who perpetrated the abuse might pretend the abuse never occurred or will try to show the victim that they really have changed. Sometimes, the victim will feel as though they can trust their partner again.
A final word
If you are dealing with PTSD or other mental health issues, a therapist will be able to help you address your symptoms and triggers. They can also provide you with healthy coping mechanisms.