Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence isn’t just physical abuse it can also be sexual, emotional, economical or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. These behaviors include intimidation, manipulation, humiliation, and isolation to name a few.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together or dating. Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that the violence is a normal way of life. This also increases their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.
- Phase One: Tension Building In this phase there are behaviors such as name-calling, verbal threats, and intimidation. The victim often tries to be nurturing, compliant, and provide whatever the abuser needs in order to avoid triggering his anger. Even the most submissive victim cannot avoid an abuser who will usually find something, often trivial, to become angry about.
- Phase Two: Abuse/Violence The next phase begins with a severely abusive or violent act against the victim. The batterer can go into an angry rage causing major destruction to the home and injuries to the victim. It should be noted that seemingly random acts of violence reinforce the batterer’s power, so there may not be a tension-building phase in some abusive relationships.
- Phase Three: Apology/Honeymoon In the apology or "Honeymoon" phase, the abuser will beg for forgiveness. He may follow with seemingly sincere, tearful apologies, promises to end the violence, stop drinking, etc. Gifts and displays of affection often give the victim false hope that the violence will end. Eventually, many abusers skip this phase altogether, finding that they do not need to apologize in order to make the victim stay. In these cases victims suffer through tension-building and violent outbursts with no remorse from the abuser.