Domestic violence is an abusive use of power, by which someone in a position of strength, tries to control someone else by using many ways. Doing so, they can maintain her in an inferiority state or to force this person to conform or to adopt behaviours to please his desires.
Domestic violence manifests itself through many forms. It is often insidious, and the first signs can be subtle and hard to see.
Verbal abuse is used to intimidate, to humiliate or to control someone. It can be used subtly or, on the contrary, very direct.
Psychological violence is essentially shown with the behaviour and posture of a person. He aims at the psychological integrity of the other person, which means to belittle the other person in its core values or as an individual. It can be used in a subtle or manifest way, just as verbal violence.
The most unknown violence, the economical violence, manifests itself with behaviours and actions that prevent someone to access their financial freedom. It can be used in an implicit or explicit way as well.
The most feared violence and the least reported. Sexual violence means any type of sexual behaviour, with or without physical contact, executed by an individual to another one without consent, or, in cases including children, by affective manipulation or extortion. It is an act meaning to belittle another person to your own desires, either by power abuse, strength or restraint, under explicit or implicit threat.
The most known violence. Physical violence is characterized by violent acts toward another person. When physical violence is used, there are big chances that other forms of violence are also present in the relationship, notably verbal, psychological and sexual abuse.
The cycle of violence represents the four phases by which acts of violence will perpetuate.These phases allow the understanding of the vicious circle of domestic violence and to identify the partner’s behaviours at each step of the cycle, as well as the consequences for the victims. Although the cycle is remotely easier to identify when there is physical violence in the relationship, it also applies to the other forms of violence, either verbal, psychological, sexual and economic. The cycle of violence is, in fact, the relationship’s dynamic that can be complex and subtle. The intensity of the cycle varies through the length of life of a couple, and from one couple to another.
In the first phase, the attacker-spouse will beg for forgiveness, promising that it will never happen again. He can be sweet and charming again. At that moment, the hope of a healthy relationship blooms in the spouse’s heart. Later, in a new unpredictable event, the partner’s tension will rise again, then explode, and justify himself, and he will ask again for forgiveness to his spouse, and so on.Take note that the last phase’s length will vary and can even not exist for some spouses who seem to not regret or even notice their violent gesture As time goes, the psychological will intensify, and the tension phase will increase. The physical aggression phase becomes severe, and the remission phase becomes shorter.
At the second phase, the partner’s tension rises, creating a climate of fear and anxiety. During this phase, the spouse also often uses verbal and psychological violence. These assaults are considered as minor to the other partner, who falsely believes that she will be able to control the situation.
The third phase of the cycle, usually short, but devastating, translates by an explosion of the spouse, meaning an aggression, often physical. Through these times, the victim is in a state of shock. She is traumatized, her thoughts and feelings are confusing: madness, shame, outraged.
At the last phase, the attacker tries to justify himself by explaining the reasons for his acts. From her side, the victim may, unconsciously, searches answers for the violent acts of her partner. After the justifications, she starts to doubt, and then she gets overwhelmed with guilt.