Cycle of IPV

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Cycle of IPV

Tension Building Phase

During this phase, tension builds over a period of time. Tension can last from a few hours to months depending on the nature of the argument. Strife arises from common domestic issues such as loss of a job, children and the most common being money issues. The victim will try to calm the situation by either giving in, trying to please the abuser or avoiding the tension. The tension will escalate to a boiling point leading to physical abuse.

Acute Battering Phase

This is the phase where physical violence begins. Physical abuse is triggered by the emotional state of the abuser or an external event. It is unpredictable when the abuser will be violent. This stage is beyond the victim’s control. Some psychologists believe that in effort to release tension, the victim may unconsciously provoke abuse.

The Honeymoon Phase

This stage is characterised by remorsefulness. The abuse will be ashamed of the act of abuse and will try to express how much they regret. This will be followed by kind behaviour, acts of love and generosity to the victim. The abuser will genuinely convince the victim that the situation will not repeat itself. In the process the abuser will win over the victim. Eventually, the victim will be convinced that it is not necessary to leave the relationship. Reconciliation will strengthen the bond between the two.

Calm Phase

This is an extension of the honeymoon phase. The abuser will continue being loving and kind and may even express the need to seek counselling. With time, the love and kindness expressed before begin to cease and the cycle begins again.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Bonomi uses a jailhouse telephone conversation to explain why victims of abuse either drop charges or recant.

The process begins with a normal telephone conversation. The victim is very firm and determined to press charges against the perpetrator. As the conversation continues, the abuser starts to win over the victim by convincing them that the abuse is not that serious. The abuser will begin to play the victim and in the process make the real victim feel sorry for them. Having gained the sympathy of the victim, the couple will bond over their love and mutual chemistry. It will now be them against the world. The abuser will then convince the victim to recant the accusation against them. The couple exchange specific details of what the victim should say in court.

I once had a friend who was in an abusive relationship. I noticed the above processes in the relationship. It is a cycle. The abusive perpetrator in the relationship was jailed and accused of felony assault. The abuser was eventually released because he managed to convince my friend to drop the charges.