Stages of Leaving Abusive Relationships - Criminal Justice - IResearchNet (2023)

With the advent of the women’s liberation movement in the early 1970s, gender inequality and the subordination of women became the focus of activists working toward equal rights and protection for women. Among the priorities of the movement was a focus on domestic violence, the legal ramifications for abusers and victims, and the need to provide safety for women who were assaulted and battered. Shelters were initially designed to offer a temporary safe haven for women (Cardarelli 1997). More shelters for battered women now are including their children, who also need therapeutic and rehabilitative care and attention.

Despite the movement’s advocacy, activism, and efforts to empower women to take charge of their lives, women continue to be victimized and controlled in intimate partner relationships. Though domestic violence issues were mainly ignored under the guise of family privacy prior to the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s, public attitudes have since been altered in support of the police protection of victims and the enforcement by police of restraining orders to keep women safe from assaults in their homes. Nevertheless, violence against women remains a serious problem, often of disastrous proportions. For some women, victimization may result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disabling injuries, or death. Victims still carry the stigma of blame for appearing to provoke the batterer to act out his anger toward them (Burman 2003). Additionally, children carry the remnants of parental verbal and physical fights for many years to come, in the form of psychological and social impairments that could reverberate throughout subsequent generations.

Staying in a relationship under such horrific conditions has been misunderstood. This has unjustly added to mistaken beliefs that these women are weak and masochistic and probably deserve the punishment inflicted on them. Victim blaming serves to transfer the blame from the perpetrator to the victim. Yet, many plausible reasons for battered women remaining in such relationships have been demonstrated, such as:

  • financial need,
  • fear of intensifying the abuse by leaving,
  • the belief that the batterer can change,
  • emotional attachment to the batterer,
  • learned helplessness in reaction to situations women believe are beyond their control, and
  • doubt that they can raise their children alone (Roberts 1996).

Therefore, rather than asking a seemingly condemning question, ‘‘Why do and how can women stay in these horrific, abusive relationships?’’ given the aforementioned predicaments, more meaningful questions would be: ‘‘What finally propels women to leave, frequently placing themselves at great risk?’’ and ‘‘What initiates and compels their departures, often under duress and dire circumstances?’’ Reframing the queries exhibits an effort to understand victims’ circumstances and the rationale for promoting change.

Women reach the breaking point and decide to leave for various reasons. Some examples of circumstances and events that may trigger such a breaking point in battered women include:

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  • when the children also become at risk.
  • when their injuries are so extensive and their self-esteem so damaged that they believe that leaving is the only way left to heal and regain what they have lost.
  • when they arrive at the realization that there must be more to life than the constant fear, savagery, and pain they are experiencing.
  • when they realize that family and community help, support, and resources are available and accessible.
  • when they gain hope and optimism that they can make it on their own, using their own survival and coping skills and becoming independent.

It has been reported that women leave battering partners and return many times before the final separation. They place themselves at great risk by doing so. Beatings invariably continue and tend to escalate after separation (Shalansky, Ericksen, and Henderson 1999). Under such dangerous conditions, planning to end abusive relationships necessitates unyielding courage and exceptionally high motivation. No matter how much and how long women have persevered with the hardships and pain, they must acquire the emotional stamina and coping abilities to be ready to make drastic changes in their lives. To take that final step and attempt to get out permanently requires a steady mindset and steadfast determination to develop and follow through with a plan of action. This often awakens boundless strengths, perhaps never recognized before. Such dramatic behavioral change generally occurs after serious consideration of the benefits and costs of staying versus leaving that promotes the readiness to take action.

The Stages-of-Change Model

According to the stages of change, people move through a process of defined stages that demonstrates a measure of their readiness to make significant changes in their lives. Progressing through each stage gets them closer to a desirable goal. Readiness to change and the corresponding stages-of-change model are innovative concepts and ways of thinking that have been developed from extensive research on self-changers (Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente 1994). The findings have revolutionized the understanding of how people alter their ingrained behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that have kept them stuck and unable to cope constructively with severe problems and issues. In doing so, the popular notion of ‘‘having to hit bottom’’ in order to make major life changes is challenged. Although generally modified to suit each individual’s circumstances and beliefs, ‘‘hitting bottom’’ usually connotes a very limited and extreme position to reach before being able to take action to alter an adverse behavior or situation. People can (and do) begin the process of change long before excessive pain and suffering might arise. They no longer have to consider losing everything meaningful in their lives before making dramatic changes to prevent it.

As an approach to assessment and treatment planning, the model matches the readiness to change with the appropriate stage clients are vested in during a specific time period. This information will identify the level of client motivation for working toward overcoming problems. To progress to a succeeding stage in the cycle, a series of tasks must be completed. Unless one becomes stuck at a certain level, working through the beginning stage (precontemplation) will lead to contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination of the difficulties experienced. Rather common is the relapse stage that interrupts the cycle, thereby promoting a return to previous stages or ending the effort to make positive changes. Hopefully, this will be temporary and progress on the path will resume.

The stages-of-change model can aptly apply to innumerable problems that people experience, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and depression (Prochaska et al. 1994). With growing familiarity with its approach and related positive findings and results, researchers and practitioners have expanded its use to an array of presenting problems, including domestic violence. In this realm, the stages-of-change model has furthered the knowledge and understanding of the unsparing impact and excruciating traumas women endure in physically and emotionally abusive relationships. The change process examines in initial stages the subjective reactions to the violence exacted from inhumane behaviors, while establishing the need for continued vigilance and safety tasks in the planning and action stages to end the violence and prevent a reoccurrence.

An illustration of the incorporation of each stage in dealing with the crisis of battering between intimate partners will follow. The process has assisted in developing individualized methods and strategies to utilize in establishing positive life changes.

Precontemplation Stage

It is not unusual for people (family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.) who observe and/or interact with an individual to notice that the person is experiencing problems. Yet the one who is experiencing the problem may personally lack awareness of it, deny its existence, minimize its influence, or consider the problem too hopeless to improve or change. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that there would be no incentive to attempt to make changes that will make life safer and less threatening, and no willingness to take risks to make it happen, at this point in time.

In an abusive relationship, several identifying features are characteristic of the precontemplation stage. The battered woman refrains from viewing her spouse or partner realistically, preferring to recall good times together and the ‘‘honeymoon stage,’’ when, after a beating, she was showered with gifts and affection. Yearning to believe promises that the battering will never happen again places her in a compromising position. She deludes herself into thinking that if she changes to please him and stops provoking his anger, the assaults will stop. She becomes defensive and will always have excuses when her injuries, bruises, and burns are noticed, even in the emergency room: ‘‘I’m accident prone and always falling,’’ ‘‘I’m so absent-minded and don’t look where I’m going,’’ or ‘‘Can you imagine, I just didn’t realize the stove was hot.’’

Within this stage, traumatic bonding is likely to be prominent. Dutton (1992) described this dysfunctional attachment and loyalty as a dependency that begins as an emotional connection at the beginning of the relationship and continues despite the treachery and torment. Increasing isolation of the victim encourages an unhealthy union and pact with the batterer that makes leaving hazardous, although at this stage the woman is mostly unaware of or will not accept how dangerous staying has become. Psychic numbing accentuates the denial and tendency to minimize the trauma experienced, while the growing learned helplessness promotes the feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness in the relationship.

The stories are easy to see through, yet the facade is sustained to such an extent that the victim of the battering mistakenly believes them. In this stage, self-blame is internalized and rationalized: ‘‘If I had not gotten so angry because he was late, I know he would not have struck me’’; ‘‘If I had told my mother that she could not have dinner with us again, I’m sure he would have been in a better mood.’’ This precontemplator is so bound by the deceptions and false beliefs that she tells herself and others, without reasonable evidence to prove otherwise, that she remains stuck and unable to reach out for help. The tragedy, therefore, is that the status quo is sustained. Without recognizing and acknowledging that there is difficulty or conflict of any magnitude, there will be no efforts to promote a change.

Yet if the victim is not totally entrenched in this stage, a window of opportunity can open to new insights. With this enlightenment, there is a possibility that the seeds of change will be sown. Whether on her own or in treatment, the victim must begin to doubt that her abuser will change in order to begin pondering the risks of remaining in the relationship. The probability of increasing abuse, leading to numerous hospitalizations, even death, must be faced directly. The gravity of this impending possibility can no longer be ignored. Safety is the key component to consider, for herself and her children.

Contemplation Stage

During the contemplation stage, battered women are ready to acknowledge the severity of problems and deficits that earlier were minimized or denied. However, even as they begin facing the probability of disastrous consequences, they still are for the most part unable to make decisions to take action and make constructive change. Ambivalence is prominent in this stage. Not ready to make a change, battered women find their feelings frequently shifting back and forth; the resulting dilemmas create high anxiety. Lingering feelings toward husbands/partners, who once provided loving concern and security (whether real or imagined), become difficult to relinquish.

When pondering leaving versus staying, at first the choices may be bewildering. It appears that there may be much to gain and much to lose either way. In order to move forward with the most beneficial decision, it is helpful to contemplate the advantages and disadvantages of alternatives using a cost/benefit analysis of each choice. For example, advantages of leaving might include:

  • safety/survival for self and children,
  • feeling empowered and gaining self-confidence in taking charge and control of critical decisions,
  • having a second chance at finding peace and happiness,
  • being a positive role model in protecting the children, and
  • breaking the cycle of violence.

Disadvantages might include:

  • fears of continued harassment, stalking, and abuse,
  • not being able to obtain a satisfactory job that will provide financial security, depending on educational and employment background,
  • fears of starting over and independently making a new life, and
  • possibly having to move to a distant area and stay hidden for an indefinite period of time.

It can take many months, even years, of weighing how life would change for better or worse. Considering the ongoing fears that battered women experience when faced with making such a life-altering decision, it is understandable that there would be apprehension about the future. Nevertheless, with an awareness of the sharp disparity between positive (and often exaggerated) memories of a caring relationship and the painful reality of what life has become, reasons to change are magnified and weighed carefully. As the intensity of violence escalates to life-threatening proportions, the benefits of staying lessen. Research findings have shown that as children are threatened and also become targets of the abuse, the desire to stay becomes even more narrow. In this way, the decisional balance is tipped, establishing necessary, even crucial, reasons to change. Once this is accomplished, the move toward the preparation stage takes effect.

Preparation Stage

Making an important decision after much reflection and deliberation of the critical nature of its consequences increases the motivation to carry it out and make it work. For a woman who realizes that sustaining the status quo is fraught with peril, there is a perceptible awareness that she has no other recourse, excepting more of the same punishing injuries and possible death. The journey to this point has not been smooth. The entire process preceding and during this stage has been an emotional and cognitive roller coaster, with shifting moments of clarity of purpose and ambivalent reconsiderations. Yet safety concerns eventually take precedence as reminders of the agony of the abuse take hold.

Being committed to taking action, she is ready to make a viable escape and safety plan for her children and herself, including an assessment of the degree of danger in each step taken. Consideration of supports and resources that can be tapped, while utilizing various sources to ensure safety and protection, are important to include in a safety plan. Phone numbers, identifying items (driver’s license, Social Security card, children’s birth certificates), and money saved are just a few items to gather. Having isolated herself due to years of making excuses and covering up evidence of the battering, a woman reaching out for help hopes she will receive positive responses to her appeals. People can be skeptical under the circumstances. Frequently, women have called upon trusted individuals (for example, relatives and clergy) who may have offered solace but urged them to stay in the relationship for the sake of the children. Although frustrating and disappointing, these reactions must not interrupt her persistence in following through with the primary objective of seeking safety measures.

Shelters are open to women, and in some locations, to their children also. They provide time-limited housing, therapeutic services such as crisis intervention and problem solving, and referrals to the community for vital resources such as legal and financial assistance, job training and employment opportunities, and police protection. The greater the strategic planning and corresponding resources and supports, the more opportunities there will be for finding safety and well-being. This necessitates careful and methodical preparation in planning to accomplish well-constructed goals.

Action Stage

Taking action involves challenging fears, facing intermittent uncertainties about having made the right decision, and experiencing doubts about moving forward with the plan. It means affirming the necessity and ability to take action, after a great deal of deliberation in earlier stages. Having built up the momentum and made preparations for many months or even years, not proceeding toward the goals of stopping the beatings and ending the relationship can be even more anxiety producing than doing so. Nonetheless, it often takes another horrendous incident (possibly after a lull in the battering and a promise that it will not happen again) to drive the will to immediately take action to leave and end the abuse. This is often described as the final incapacitating assault, the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, and strategies already developed are implemented. Women have remarked that they did not realize their own strengths, survival skills, and ability to cope under such duress and hardships before having to do so. Affirmations such as these express personal accomplishments and, under the circumstances, are well deserved.

Maintenance Stage

Having advanced through grueling and stress-producing stages, undertaking tasks that beforehand would have been considered unimaginable if not impossible, women are next challenged to maintain the gains they made in leaving behind a life filled with injuries, pain, and fears. They often need lifetime support, or at least support until assured that the perpetrator of the violence will not offend again. This is the time when relapse prevention should be addressed. Unknowingly, when distant distressful memories fade, a longing for the affection and attention once shown can emerge and create a desire to regain the positive parts of the relationship that were lost.

This is a danger zone, where fragile emotions reign and rational thought processes plunge almost spontaneously. Feeling lonely and not having reinvested socially in acceptable outlets, the temptation to reconnect with the abuser can be hasty and very risky. Without contemplating ominous consequences, a reenactment of the past and a cycle of violence can be repeated. Support groups, telephone hotlines that offer information, and treatment resources are crucial to counteracting these urges. The most important things for the woman to do are to get back on track, renew goals, and avoid being discouraged.

Termination Stage

One might wonder whether it is ever possible to terminate an abusive relationship, mourn the loss, and start life anew, safely and securely. Women do it, with varied emotions, numerous uncertainties about what lies ahead, and frequently a feeling of relief that the horror is ending. If achieved under their own actions, an empowering reaction and enhanced self-confidence can emerge. They made a difference in their lives and their children’s lives.


There could be many misfortunes and tragedies that might interrupt the stages of leaving an abusive relationship and create a relapse. Unable to earn an income adequate to satisfy even the basic necessities, having recurrent mood swings, and feeling lonely and overwhelmed with added responsibilities may instigate a return. Self-medicating with alcohol and other drugs can be a temporary escape but often exacerbates the problems experienced during the time of change. Women have been known to take drugs with their partners (many having been introduced to drug use by them), making it more difficult to sustain the detachment. Too often, the consequences can be serious and unrelenting. Developing and adhering to protective policies, providing the wherewithal to sustain lifesaving changes, and helping women free themselves and their children with obtainable community supports, resources, and available treatment should be a priority. Only then will women believe that they have achieved peace of mind and freedom from strife.

Also check the list of domestic violence research topics and all criminal justice research topics.


  1. Brown, Jody. ‘‘Working Toward Freedom from Violence: The Process of Change in Battered Women.’’ Violence against Women 3 (1997): 5–26.
  2. Burke, Jessica, Andrea Carlson Gielen, Karen McDonnell, Patricia O’Campo, and Suzanne Maman. ‘‘The Process of Ending Abuse in Intimate Relationships.’’ Violence against Women 7 (2001): 1144–1163.
  3. Burman, Sondra. ‘‘Battered Women: Stages of Change and Other Treatment Models That Instigate and Sustain Leaving.’’ Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 3 (2003): 83–98.
  4. Cardarelli, Albert P., ed. Violence between Intimate Partners: Patterns, Causes, and Effects. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.
  5. Dutton, Mary Ann. Empowering and Healing the Battered Woman: A Model for Assessment and Intervention. New York: Springer, 1992.
  6. Frasier, Pamela Y., Lisa Slatt, Vicki Kowlowitz, and Patricia T. Glowa. ‘‘Using the Stages of Change Model to Counsel Victims of Intimate Partner Violence.’’ Patient Education and Counseling 43 (2001): 211–217.
  7. Miller, William R., and Stephen Rollnick. Motivational Interviewing. New York: Guilford Press, 1991.
  8. Prochaska, James O., and Carlo C. DiClemente. ‘‘In Search of How People Change.’’ American Psychologist 47 (1992): 1102–1114.
  9. Prochaska, James O., John C. Norcross, and Carlo C. DiClemente. Changing for Good. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1994.
  10. Roberts, Albert R., ed. Helping Battered Women: New Perspectives and Remedies. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
  11. Shalansky, Catriona, Janet Ericksen, and Angela Henderson. ‘‘Abused Women and Child Custody: The Ongoing Exposure to Abusive Ex-Partners.’’ Journal of Advanced Nursing 29 (1999): 416–426.
  12. Walker, Lenore. The Battered Woman. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.


What are the 6 steps of the cycle of abuse in order )? ›

Six distinct stages make up the cycle of violence: the set-up, the abuse, the abuser's feelings of “guilt” and his fear of reprisal, his rationalization, his shift to non-abusive and charming behavior, and his fantasies and plans for the next time he will abuse.

What are the 4 phases of violence? ›

A closer look at the 4-part cycle
  • Tensions build. Abusive partners often lash out in response to external stressors. ...
  • Incident of abuse or violence. The abuser eventually releases this tension on others, attempting to regain power by establishing control. ...
  • Reconciliation. ...
  • Calm.
29 Nov 2020

What are the 3 stages of the cycle of violence in a dating relationship? ›

There are three phases in the cycle of violence: (1) Tension-Building Phase, (2) Acute or Crisis Phase, and (3) Calm or Honeymoon Phase. Without intervention, the frequency and severity of the abuse tends to increase over time.

What is the final stage in the cycle of abuse? ›

Reconciliation. After the abuse has occurred, you and your partner will enter the reconciliation phase. Usually, you enter a honeymoon period, brought on by your abuser giving you loving gestures, gifts, and kindness to move past the abuse.

How many stages are in the cycle of violence? ›

Many people who are in abusive relationships say that the violence follows a pattern. It does not happen randomly; rather, it often occurs in a repeating cycle that is made up of three phases.

What are the 5 cycles of emotional abuse? ›

The five cycles and the impact of their legacy on the abused are as follows:
  • Rage. ...
  • Enmeshment. ...
  • Rejection/Abandonment. ...
  • Complete Neglect. ...
  • Extreme overprotection.

How many attempts does it take to leave an abuser? ›

Survivors may leave and return several times before permanently separating from their abusive partner. In fact, research shows that it can take approximately 7 attempts before a survivor permanently leaves an abusive partner.

What is the third and final stage in the cycle of abuse within a relationship? ›

3. Reconciliation stage. This is also known as the honeymoon phase. The abuser becomes contrite and apologises for their behaviour.

Why is violence a cycle? ›

The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship.

What are the three phases of battered woman syndrome? ›

BWS begins as an abusive cycle with three stages. First, the abuser engages in behaviors that create relationship tension. Second, the tension explodes when the abuser commits some form of abuse: physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, or otherwise. Third, the abuser tries to fix his wrongdoing and apologizes.

What is the cycle of violence quizlet? ›

They cycle of violence consists of a tension-building stage, a violent episode, and a calm or "honeymoon" stage. During the tension-building stage, the victim may try to please the abuser or reason with the abuser to prevent violence. The tension is broke by a violent episode.

In what stage of the cycle of violence may a perpetrator try to justify their violent actions saying things like you know it makes me angry when you say that? ›

Phase 3: Honeymoon Stage

They may become withdrawn and try to justify their actions to themselves and others. For example, they may say: “You know it makes me angry when you say that.”

Which phase of the cycle of violence is called the honeymoon period? ›

Tension building phase; and, 3. Explosion phase. At the beginning of the cycle of violence, during the honeymoon phase, the perpetrator is caring, loving and helpful, and there is the sense that all is well. This phase may also be known as the “hearts and flowers” period of the relationship.

Why is it difficult to break cycles of violence? ›

The cycle of violence has a physical, emotional, and verbal abuse component. It is often difficult for victims to leave their abusers because they have been living in fear or have had threats made against them if they report the abuse. This type of behaviour feeds into what we call learned helplessness.

Which is the first phase of the cycle of abuse? ›

Build-up: Stress builds up in the abuse

The cycle begins with some stress (ex: job, money or bills). The stress causes the abuser to feel powerless. The abuser chooses to act out toward a spouse or partner through name-calling, insults and accusations.

What is the first stage of spousal abuse? ›

Phase 1-Tension Building

In the first phase, tension builds in the relationship. Victims report their partners becoming increasingly irritable, frustrated, and unable to cope with every-day stresses. The abuser may lash out at the victim at this time, but generally stops and becomes apologetic.

Who created the cycle of violence? ›

The theory of the Cycle of Violence was developed by Dr. Lenore Walker.

Which of the following is true about the cycle of intimate partner violence quizlet? ›

Which of the following is TRUE about the cycle of intimate partner violence? The cycle involves a tension-building phase during which the worst battering occurs. In the remorse/reconciliation phase, the batterer tries to teach the partner a lesson by inflicting severe pain.

What does a woman need to do to prepare to leave the abuser? ›

How to Prepare to Leave an Abusive Relationship
  1. Understand Your Financial Standing. This is especially important if you are married to your abuser. ...
  2. Collect Important Documents. ...
  3. Start Saving Money. ...
  4. Change Your Passwords. ...
  5. Reach Out to Loved Ones. ...
  6. Contact Advocates.

What is the cycle of a narcissist? ›

The narcissistic abuse cycle refers to an abusive pattern of behavior that characterizes the relationships of people with narcissistic traits. It involves first idealizing a person, then devaluing them, repeating the cycle, and eventually discarding them when they are of no further use.

Is emotional abandonment abuse? ›

Emotional abandonment occurs when parents are physically present but emotionally absent. There are there and not there at the same time. This form of neglect negatively impacts a child's self-esteem. The younger a child is when he or she experiences this form of abuse, the more damaging it becomes.

How many times does it take to leave a toxic relationship? ›

In abusive relationships, victims make an average of seven attempts to end the relationship before they do, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

What are factors that may discourage a victim from leaving an abuser? ›

Additional barriers to escaping a violence relationship include by are not limited to: The fear that the abuser's actions will become more violent and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave. Unsupportive friends and family. Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances.

What happens to your body when you're in a toxic relationship? ›

For example, people in unhealthy relationships may experience pains, anxiety, and memory and speech problems. This is because their body is sent on a hormonal rollercoaster of cortisol and adrenaline, leading to tense muscles and digestive problems, among other things.

During which stage of the cycle of violence does the abuser use alcohol or drugs? ›

During which stage of the cycle of violence does the abuser use alcohol or drugs? The abuser may use alcohol or drugs during the tension-building stage in an attempt to reduce tension.

Which stage of the cycle of domestic violence is characterized by overt aggressive behavior towards the victim? ›

Acute Battering Incident

During this phase, the batterer exhibits uncontrolled violence outbursts.

What is the primary symptom of battered woman syndrome? ›

Anxiety: Women with BWS have high levels of anxiety and hypervigilance when something doesn't seem right, Walker says. This leads to the fight-or-flight response. This could mean being startled by noises and other triggers, crying often, and having problems with sleep.

Is trauma bonding real? ›

Trauma bonding is a human emotional response, not a character flaw, and it can occur within abusive cycles to anyone. Disclosing your experience may provide you with a sense of relief once you see how empathetic those around you are about it.

What is the cycle of crime? ›

Many violent offenders find themselves in a cycle of crime and punishment that is difficult to break. This cycle occurs when violent offenders who are punished via incarceration reoffend shortly upon release, which leads to further punishment and subsequent offending.

What are the four characteristics of battered woman syndrome? ›

In her book, The Battered Woman Syndrome, Walker says most women who are battered exhibit four characteristics: They believe the violence is their fault, they can't place the blame for the violence on anyone else, they fear for their lives and their children's lives, and they believe their abuser is everywhere and sees ...

What are the 4 psychological stages of BWS? ›

That being said, there are generally thought to be four stages of battered woman syndrome:
  • Denial. The person is unable to accept that they're being abused, or they justify it as being “just that once.”
  • Guilt. The person believes they caused the abuse.
  • Enlightenment. ...
  • Responsibility.

What is battered woman syndrome can a woman make it as a defense? ›

Battered Woman Syndrome as a Defense. – Victim-survivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from battered woman syndrome do not incur any criminal and civil liability notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code.

What is the cycle of a narcissist? ›

The narcissistic abuse cycle refers to an abusive pattern of behavior that characterizes the relationships of people with narcissistic traits. It involves first idealizing a person, then devaluing them, repeating the cycle, and eventually discarding them when they are of no further use.

What is the first stage of spousal abuse? ›

Phase 1-Tension Building

In the first phase, tension builds in the relationship. Victims report their partners becoming increasingly irritable, frustrated, and unable to cope with every-day stresses. The abuser may lash out at the victim at this time, but generally stops and becomes apologetic.

Why is violence a cycle? ›

The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship.

What is the wheel of power and control? ›

Power and Control Break free from abuse.

The wheel serves as a diagram of tactics that an abusive partner uses to keep their victims in a relationship. The inside of the wheel is made up of subtle, continual behaviors over time, while the outer ring represents physical and sexual violence.

What turns a narcissist off? ›

When you don't depend on anyone to make money and you use your abundance to take care of yourself and not predators, you will always have the ability to control your own future. This is power, and pathologically envious narcissists are often turned off by it because it means they cannot easily control a victim.

What are the red flags of a narcissist? ›

Here are some narcissism red flags to look out for: Lacking empathy. They seem unable or unwilling to have empathy for others, and they appear to have no desire for emotional intimacy. Unrealistic sense of entitlement.

What a narcissist does at the end of a relationship? ›

At the end of a relationship, narcissists may become combative, passive-aggressive, hostile, and even more controlling. People with NPD often fail to understand other people's needs and values. They are hyper focused on their egos, but do not account for how their actions affect others.

What are the steps in domestic violence case? ›

To file a domestic violence case the petitioner has to provide Marriage Invitation card, Marriage Photos and Local address and ID proof and we have to approach the jurisdiction Court of MMTC (Metropolitan Magistrate Traffic Court) . to get the maintenance for the child we need to file an IA.

What are the three phases of battered woman syndrome? ›

BWS begins as an abusive cycle with three stages. First, the abuser engages in behaviors that create relationship tension. Second, the tension explodes when the abuser commits some form of abuse: physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, or otherwise. Third, the abuser tries to fix his wrongdoing and apologizes.

What evidence should be collected in a domestic violence case? ›

Independent, corroborative evidence that can be used in such cases includes a 911-call recording; visible injuries photographed by a police officer or observed by a person other than the victim; physical evidence at the crime scene such as a weapon, broken furniture, victim's torn clothing, or a telephone ripped out of ...

Why do people stay with their abuser? ›

A victim's reasons for staying with their abusers are extremely complex and, in most cases, are based on the reality that their abuser will follow through with the threats they have used to keep them trapped: the abuser will hurt or kill them, they will hurt or kill the kids, they will win custody of the children, they ...

What is the primary symptom of battered woman syndrome? ›

Anxiety: Women with BWS have high levels of anxiety and hypervigilance when something doesn't seem right, Walker says. This leads to the fight-or-flight response. This could mean being startled by noises and other triggers, crying often, and having problems with sleep.

In what part of the cycle of abuse might the abuser apologize? ›

Reconciliation stage

This is also known as the honeymoon phase. The abuser becomes contrite and apologises for their behaviour. They may be overly attentive or affectionate; they may try to ignore what happened, or they may even try to blame the victim for the violence.

What happens in the mind of an abuser? ›

Inside an Abuser's Mind

They will use isolation or threats to keep their victim from leaving, getting help or having any other relationships. Anything that empowers their victim, including relationships or money, will be seen as a threat to the abuser who wants the victim completely dependent.

What are the 5 acts of power and control an abuser may use? ›

If someone suspects a relationship to be abusive, the Power and Control Wheel can help.
These are as follows:
  • Using Intimidation.
  • Using Emotional Abuse.
  • Using Isolation.
  • Minimizing, Denying and Blaming.
  • Using Children.
  • Using Male Privilege.
  • Using Economic Abuse.
  • Using Coercion and Threats.
6 Nov 2019

What are the characteristics of an abuser? ›

Red flags and warning signs of an abuser include but are not limited to:
  • Extreme jealousy.
  • Possessiveness.
  • Unpredictability.
  • A bad temper.
  • Cruelty to animals.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Extremely controlling behavior.
  • Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships.

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Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated: 01/28/2023

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Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.