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Abuse and its cycle..

Abuse and its culture is unfortunately a phenomenon that we are increasingly hearing about and witnessing in various ways, in a condition that is taking on alarming proportions in the modern society we live in. The American psychologist Lenore Walker, who founded the Institute of Family Violence, developed a model describing the cycle of violence, having discovered that many violent relationships follow similar cycle patterns (Walker, 1979). The Cycle of Violence attempts to outline the process of abusive relationships and events, detailing the gradual progression that leads to domestic violence.

The cycle consists of 4 stages, which vary in time and duration and start at the first signs of domestic violence and reach the tragic and devastating consequences.

-> Creating Tension is the first phase. There begin to be episodes of violence, mild tension which begins to build up over simple domestic matters such as children, jobs and money. The abused woman tries to manage the situation, sometimes with a submissive and kind attitude towards her husband, sometimes she denies his anger and sometimes she rationalizes it, thus putting as the cause of the abuse, external factors such as his work, his tiredness.

-> Intense Abuse, comes in the second stage. There is an episode of violence characterized by sharpness and ferocity, with beatings that can cause serious bodily harm and even lead to the death of the woman. Abuse can be physical, emotional or sexual. The perpetrator may at first be somewhat conscious of his actions, but then, when the anger becomes uncontrollable, he no longer determines what he is doing. In this phase the woman believes that she cannot exercise any control over her husband's behavior because it will make the situation worse and hardly asks for help.

-> Reconciliation is the stage that usually follows. There is a letting go of violence and tension, and there is an establishment of reconciliation undertaken by both people involved in the abusive relationship. Repentance is usually expressed by the abuser for his respective actions and paradoxically, in some cases there is also denial by the abuser of the abuse that had taken place.

-> Calmness and Repentance follow and in this stage exaggeration prevails where the husband expresses his tender feelings, shows excessive kindness, care, love and affection towards his wife, apologizes to her, cries, admits the unacceptable act him and promises that he won't do it again. At that moment she believes what he says and promises that from now on he will control himself. Some other abusers will try to put the blame on their victim and this now compounds and creates dependence, not allowing the woman to separate from her partner.

The feelings of fear and insecurity, shame and worthlessness, the emotional and psychological involvement of the victim, the often financial dependence, the "stigma" of the broken family, the lack of a support network as well as the learned helplessness (Learned Helplessness) are some of the reasons the abused person remains in that relationship. He is trapped in the stage of "remorse" thinking that the abuser will change and in essence lives in a vicious circle that functions as a dependency, creates dysfunctional relationships, characterized by encroachment, lack of boundaries and respect, relationships that erode the victim and his sense of self, as a person who fails to believe that he is capable of living without fear, growing, evolving and loving.

You can ask for help and be supported either by a specialist or by the helpline for abused women. You deserve respect!

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