The term “cycle of abuse” refers to a pattern that can occur in abusive relationships, where there is a repeated cycle of tension building, an abusive incident, a period of remorse or reconciliation, and then a calm or honeymoon phase. It is important to note that this pattern does not justify or excuse abusive behavior in any way.
In some cases, an abuser may exhibit moments of kindness or remorse following an abusive incident. This behavior can be confusing and contradictory for the victim, as it creates a sense of hope and attachment. The abuser may use these acts of kindness as a way to manipulate and maintain control over the victim. They may also apologize, make promises to change, or provide gifts or gestures to alleviate guilt and maintain the victim’s loyalty.
However, it is important to understand that these moments of kindness do not negate the abusive behavior or indicate genuine change. They are often part of a cycle designed to keep the victim trapped in the abusive relationship. The abuser may use these moments to minimize the severity of their actions, shift blame onto the victim, or create a sense of dependency.
Recognizing the cycle of abuse and understanding that kindness following abuse does not erase or excuse the harm caused is crucial. It is essential for victims to prioritize their safety and well-being and seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals. Breaking free from an abusive relationship often requires a comprehensive safety plan and accessing resources such as counseling, helplines, or shelters that specialize in assisting victims of abuse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, it is important to reach out to local helplines or organizations that can provide guidance and support. Remember, everyone deserves to be treated with respect, kindness, and dignity.
© Linda C J Turner
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