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PDF of Lesson Forty-nine
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Domestic Violence Online Class for Court-49
Domestic Violence/Anger Management Online Class for Court-
Domestic violence cycle has three phases; tension building , the explosion or violent phase, and the honeymoon/remorse phase. As with any cycle, once we are in the cycle we keep repeating the phases until we find a way to stop the cycle. Stopping the cycle is not easy. Knowing there is a cycle and recognizing the phases is the first step to change. You may say to yourself….”we did it again.” That is the first step to changing your behavior.
Written by Anger Specialist Yvonne Sinclair M.A.
Review Domestic Violence has a Cycle.
Tension Building phase.
In this phase, the tension increases and the atmosphere in the relationship becomes heavy and oppressive. The abuser begins to “pick fights.” The victim attempts to placate the abuser and often feels as though she/he is “walking on egg shells.” This phase is characterized by anger, blaming, and arguing. It does not matter who we are, we all encounter stresses in our day to day life. Feelings are emotional and physical reactions to external stimuli – they tell us something important is happening. So when life happens, we have feelings about it. Unfortunately, we have been socialized not to express or acknowledge most of our feelings. What we usually do is minimize, deny and stuff those feelings. It is just like over filling a pressure cooker and then turning the heat up -eventually it will explode.
If we are the partner of the violent person, this phase feels like we are walking on eggshells. We try to do everything perfect so the violent person does not get angry. We try to be perfect so as not to “make” them mad.
The Explosion Phase.
This phase is the “explosion” after the tension builds. It may include hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, th4 use of objects or weapons, or sexual abuse. The abuse may also manifest emotionally or psychologically in the form of yelling or verbal threats. The “explosion” state becomes more severe each time it occurs.
This phase is exactly that, an explosion. After stuffing our feelings for so long, the pressure cooker, inside us, just cannot take any more and we explode. What that explosion looks like is different for everyone. While there are many ways to categorize our violence, we will use three; physical, emotional, and sexual. (The one thing common to the way everyone explodes is the need for control.) recognizing how and why we are trying to control others with our behavior is a major first step to being non violent.
When we come to terms with the fact that the only thing we control in this world is ourselves, we will be much happier and “feel” more in control of our lives.
The Honeymoon Phase.
The abuser may deny the abuse, minimize its severity, or blame the victim for the abuse. This phase is characterized by promises from the abuser to change behavior, and attempts to win back the favor of the victim through affection, gifts, and/or by lulling her/him into a false sense of peace after the “storm.” The honeymoon/remorse period tends to become shorter and shorter as the relationship continues. Eventually, the abuser will cease to apologize and will no longer pretend that they are willing to change.
Once the explosion subsides, we begin to recognize the damage we have done. We begin to feel remorseful. Typically we say “I’m sorry, I’ll never do that again.” If not out loud at least we say this to ourselves. This is where who has exploded begins to lose trust in themselves-“Howe many times do I have to say I am sorry and that I will never do it again before I stop?” just trying to make it al better moves us into the tension building stage where it all begins again.
In the honeymoon phase the partner of the violent person may feel validated by taking care of the violent person. They may forgive and feel that the violent person really will change this time. Without both partners finding new ways to respond, this cycle will continue.
In most abusive relationship, abuse occurs in this predictable cycle. After the honeymoon/remorse phase, the tension begins to build and th cycle starts over. The victim may stop believing the abuser’s promises to change, instead spending the majority of time trying to prevent an explosion. When the honeymoon/remorse stage fades out of the cycle, and physical abuse occurs with increased frequency and severity, the victim is most at risk of becoming severely injured or killed.
Domestic Violence Facts;
Once the cycle is started it is very difficult to stop it, especially without help and support.
Eventually the honeymoon phase disappears into a phase that is absence of violence. There is not an apology, or remorse voiced. All that remains then is the tension building and the explosion phases.
The violence becomes worse. Verbal conflicts escalate to physical violence. Death is a common outcome (the death of the partner of the violent person).
If children are involved in the relationship, they are eventually included in the abusive behaviors.
Violence can be force used to try to get someone to do what you want, or to get your own way. This force can be categorized as: physical, meaning you do something physically to someone, something, or yourself. Emotional/verbal, meaning you say or do things that you plan, hope, or should know will “hurt: someone emotionally or mentally. Sexual, meaning that you say or do things that you plan, hope, or should know will cause uninvited sexual reaction or attack someone’s sexual ideas, morals, or identity.
Physical violence can be any of the following; Punching, hitting, biting, slapping, pinching, choking, spitting, kicking, pushing, scratching, shaking, restraining, spanking, hair pulling, burning, body slams, using a knife, gun, stick, weapon. Throwing things at the, block their exit, use poison/chemicals, throwing them, jerking, slam on the brakes to end an argument, finger pointed in the face, sadistic tickling, tying up. Kick the dog or cat, punch the wall, stomp, burn or ruin dinner, break things, target dear items, throw them away, slam doors, leave a mess, throw out treasured items, kidnap the children, display any weapon, throw things around, disable the care, rip up their clothes, throw clothes in the street, attempting suicide, physically hurting the kids, play game with the thermostat, mess the toilet/leave the seat up, manipulate behavior to be unpredictable, monopolize attention, or create a scene to get your way.
Verbal/emotional abuse can be any of the following; Threaten any of the physical abuse items. Intimidation, name calling, withholding car keys, sarcastic/abusive jokes, put-downs (especially directed at the other partner’s parenting skills and responsibility), reminding of prior beatings, paying your spouse an allowance, public humiliation, stay away all night or longer without discussing and agreeing on this, discounting or dismissing any of their feelings, dredge up the past, hoarding the checkbook because the spouse is “too stupid,” screaming, challenge their sense of reality, profanities, telling lies, blaming, setups, jealous behavior, inspect the mail, play mined games, talk down to them, always find fault, harass visitations, keep secret bank accounts or property, treat them like a servant, make them do illegal things, attack/label their ideals and morals, prevent or interfere in them getting/keeping a job, interfere with religious/spiritual participation, insist they seek medical help, withhold information then insist they should have known, target physical violence t past wounds or hidden places, put down spiritual beliefs, invade privacy.
Sexual Violence can be any of the following; unwanted overtures, uninvited intimate touching, spousal rape, child molest, date rape, incest, hickeys, uninvited pornography (tapes, movies, poems, pictures, jokes, etc.), tickling, inappropriate nudity, demands to wear exploitive clothing, withholding sdex as a bribe/punishment/threat, involving other people in sex without the partner’s permission, comparisons to past lovers, criticism of performance, sarcastic sexual comments and innuendoes, having an affair (or several affairs), treating tem like a porn star, dredging and manipulating past victimization (you are such a slut because your brother raped you and you’ll always be a slut!), threaten to expose sexual secrets, challenge sexual orientation, insist on explicit/lurid details, falsely accuse of affairs, sex to express anger, sexual hurting or torture to prove you’re in control, physical violence during pregnancy, involving weapons or “tools” in sex without consent, reminding of past affairs, with details, ridicule morals and preferences, minimize feelings, ridicule sexual image.
Expressing our feelings is an important aspect of stopping the cycle of violence. But we must express our feelings in words for this to happen.
If we are in denial about the violence change will not happen. Trying to forget the incident, trying to explain or excuse the behavior, or minimizing the frequency or severity of the violent behaviors all constitute denial.
The abused partner blaming self will keep change from occurring. “If I had not nagged, phoned a friend, gone shopping, kept the children more quiet, fixed dinner earlier, I should have known what he wanted.” In a violent pattern nothing will be perfect enough.
During the honeymoon phase some distorted thinking patterns on the victims part can sabotage the beginning of change. ”He/she really is sorry this time. Now I understand what I must do to keep peace. It is safe now.”
The abused partner my become clinically depressed and loose energy and concentration that would assist them in taking steps to stop the abuse.
Thinking patterns that will solicit change and help the victim begin to allow safety are;
I do not deserve to be beaten, I do not have to take the abuse, I can call 911, I can file charges, I can file for divorce, he/she will hurt my children, friends, and/or family if I do not take positive action to stop him/her.
Information for this chapter;
What is Domestic Violence? By Renee Devlin
Western Institute of Therapeutic Studies
California Women –Editor, Debbe Rizzo
©Copyright 2010 by Yvonne Sinclair M.A., MFCC. All Rights Reserved.
Congratulations, you are finished with lesson Forty-nine in Domestic Violence. When you complete the four sections of questions for LESSON FORTY-NINE QUIZ you will be automatically given Lesson FIFTY.
LESSON FORTY-NINE QUIZ