The cycle of household violence is a recurring pattern that often occurs in most people who are violent in their affairs. The supposition that domestic violence occurs repetitively was developed by Lenore Walker after conducting a study in the United States in the year 1979 (Donaldson, Flood & Elaine 28). This theory shows how and why a person who commits family and domestic violence may change his behavior so significantly over a period of time. This theory helps the victims understand why they are affected by family and domestic violence.
There are various stages that are in this cycle of violence. After one identifies these phases, it is when he starts realizing his abusive behavior and starts to take accountability for what he does. On the other hand, when a woman recognizes this cycle, it is when she starts to understand the behavior of her partner follows an exact cycle and cannot be inclined by anything that she does.
These stages have unpredictable lengths of time with each having many variations in time and frequency. The first stage is the build up stage. This is when the man involved goes through a build up of anxiety. This phase starts with normal relations between two people who are in a relationship, but involves growing anxiety which is marked with emotional, financial or verbal abuse. In this phase the man is anxious by the way he views the world and how he has a blown up sense of privilege. He avoids emotional and social circumstances while relying on other people to meet up his every want. The man’s beliefs on how the world ought to be and have to be, involves him in self exciting views and beliefs. This is where he starts blaming others for what is going on with his life. In the case of passive relationships the issues can normally be set on between the people in a relationship.
The second phase is the Stand over phase where a person who is affected has fear that anything that they do will cause deterioration of the situation. This period can be really alarming for the victims. The person’s behavior that is violent in relationships escalates to the point a release of anxiety is unavoidable.
Explosion phase is the third stage and is a very critical phase. It can engage in terrorizing, criminal assault, serious threats, verbal abuse, and property management. The man believes that he has no power over the violence he commits and he feels infuriated; this period can be short or can rise over hours. In this phase, the person uses violence to power and control others. The person who involves himself in domestic violence feels relieved of tension during this phase, which may be addictive. This makes them unable to deal with their anger in another way.
The fourth stage is the regret and remorse phase. In this stage the victim feels helpless, remorseful and guilty. This time one often blames their partner for what happened to them and takes the entire fault to them. Here, they don’t take any responsibility for their own behavior. Persons at this phase tend to justify their acts not aware they are doing so because of the release they just had.
The fifth stage is the Pursuit phase. This is where the victims of the family and domestic violence promise the affected that they will never be violent again. They try to correct their past behavior at this time and blame other factors for their violence. The delinquent of the violence may buy gifts to the affected person to gain their attention (Donaldson, Flood & Elaine 45). The offender may also go through a dramatic change of personality. Meanwhile, the affected person may be hurt but relieved that the violence is over.
The last phase is the honey moon phase. In this stage, both the affected and the offender may be in denial because of the violence and abuse that they went through. Both of them may not want their affiliation to end, so they will gladly dismiss any possibility that they could experience that violence again. It is after a while that this period will fade and the cycle repeats itself.
In conclusion, the circle of violence is important to the victims involved with family and domestic violence; because it helps them cope with every stage starting with the build up stage; stand over stage; explosion stage; regret and remorse stage and the final one which is honey moon stage. This circle helps the victims understand the stages well and know what to do at every stage.
Donaldson, Charlie, Randy Flood & Elaine Eldridge. Stop Hurting the Woman you Love:
Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior. Minnesota: Hazelden Publishing, 2006. Print.