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Angels of Hope and Freedom: Domestic Violence Resources

Power and Control Wheel
Awareness and Education
Child Abuse
Sexual Assault
Survivor Stories
In Memoriam


Developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
202 East Superior Street Duluth
Minnesota 55802 USA

The Cycle of Violence
Information courtesy of the Victims Services at University of Central Florida

Tension Building
The Batterer is: Moody Nitpicking Isolate her Withdraw affection Put downs Keeps kids quiet,Yelling, Drinking or drugs, Threatens, Destroys property Criticized, Sullen, Crazy making

Her Response: Attempts to calm him, Nurturing, Silent /Talkative, Stays away from family & friends, Keeps kids quiet, Agrees, Withdraws, Cooks his favorite dinner, General feeling of walking on eggshells

Acute Explosion
The Batterer:Hitting, choking, Humiliation, imprisonment, Rape, use of weapons, Bating, verbal abuse

Her Response: Protect herself anyway she can, Police called by her, her kids, neighbors, Tries to calm him, Tries to reason Leaves Fight back

The Batterer:I’m sorry, begs for forgiveness, promises to get counseling, go to church , AA , hopeful, sends flowers, brings presents, "I’ll never do it again" wants to make love, declares love, enlists family support, cries

Her Response: agrees to stay, return or takes him back, attempts to stop legal proceeding ,sets up counseling appointments for him, feels happy, hopeful

How denial works in each stage of the cycle to keep the cycle going (only by breaking through this denial can the cycle be broken).

Tension Building
She denies it is happening, excuses it ads some outside stress (work, etc.); blames herself for his behavior, denies that the abuse will worsen. He denies by blaming the tension on her, work, the traffic, anything; by getting drunk; denies responsibility for his actions.

She denies her injuries, only minor ("I bruise easily"); did not require police or medical help; blames it on drinking ("he didn’t know what he was doing"); does not label it rape because it was her husband.

He blames it on her, stress, etc. ("She had it coming")

She minimizes injuries ("It could have been worse"); believes this is the way it will stay, the man of her dreams, believes his promises.

He also believes that it won’t happen again.