The Progression Of Violence

Phase I: The Tension Building Stage
The woman tries to calm the man by becoming nurturing, compliant, either anticipating his every whim or staying out of his way. She accepts his abusiveness as legitimately directed towards her. She believes she can prevent his anger from escalating. She becomes his accomplice by accepting some of the responsibility for his abusive behavior by not permitting herself to get angry with the batterer, using her psychological defense of denying her own anger and minimizing the isolated violent incidents.

Phase II: The Acute Battering Stage
This stage is characterized by controllable discharge of tensions. The batterer generally justifies his behavior, usually by putting the blame on her for his actions. If she resists he will become more violent. She doesn’t feel the pain as much as she feels psychologically trapped and unable to flee. She often minimizes her injuries. At times she will blame herself for the incident, thinking if she hadn’t said “this” or done “that” to upset him, this would not have happened.

Phase III: Kindness And Loving Behavior
This stage is characterized by an unusual calm. This is also known as the “Honeymoon Phase”. He tries to make it up to her by behaving in a charming and loving manner. He is sorry and begs her forgiveness. He promises never to do it again. He pleads to get her back telling her he can control his anger from now on. She believes he can change. She then gets the glimpse of the man she fell in love with. She will do anything to patch things up and he reminds her that he needs her or may threaten suicide if she does not come back. This is where the bonding takes hold. She is not getting all the rewards of being married and is basically bought off as an accomplice to her battering which adds to her shame, self-hatred and embarrassment.

**These 3 phases will repeat themselves, turning into a viscous cycle.
**Please get out!
**Don’t let fear, shame or pride stop you from asking for help.
**There is help out there

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