Incident
•        Any type of abuse occurs (physical/sexual/emotional)

Tension Building
•        Abuser starts to get angry
•        Abuse may begin
•        There is a breakdown of communication
•        Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm
•        Tension becomes too much
•        Victim feels like they are 'walking on egg shells'

Making-Up
•        Abuser may apologize for abuse
•        Abuser may promise it will never happen again
•        Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
•        Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims

Calm
•        Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
•        Physical abuse may not be taking place
•        Promises made during 'making-up' may be met
•        Victim may hope that the abuse is over
•        Abuser may give gifts to victim

The cycle can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of
time in a relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete.

It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on,
the 'making-up' and 'calm' stages disappear.  


Adapted from the original concept of:  Walker, Lenore. The Battered Woman. New York: Harper and Row,
1979.
Pastoral Resource Ministries, Inc.
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