The Cycle of Violence

Three Stages of Violence

  1. Tension Building Stage
    Verbal attacks or insults, criticisms occur. Victim becomes passive and feels helpless. Perpetrator becomes more aggressive.
  2. Assaultive Incident
    Tension erupts into violence (abuse), usually triggered by an external event and not the victim.
  3. Honeymoon Phase
    The perpetrator becomes loving, kind, and contrite; pleads for forgiveness and promises it will never happen again. As the relationship deteriorates, a NEW CYCLE OF VIOLENCE BEGINS.

(Source: Walker, Lenore. (1979), The Battered Woman)

Safety Plans for You and Your Children

  • Keep emergency numbers with you
  • Be ready to leave quickly (e.g. cash, documents, keys)
  • Make a plan for your children’s safety
  • Change travel routes and routines
  • Let people know you are not feeling safe
  • Call a shelter for more safety advice