What is the cycle of violence?

In many violent relationships, the same things may happen over and over.

Not all relationships follow this “cycle of violence”. But many go through these 3 stages.


No matter what you do, you can’t please your partner. Your partner may shout, blame, criticize, threaten, call you names or refuse to speak to you.


The explosion can be verbal, physical and/or sexual (rape). The batterer may scream, yell, shove, slap, hit, punch, kick, break things or even use weapons to frighten and control you.


After the explosion, batterers may promise it will never happen again, Some may cry or bring you flowers and gifts. Some may threaten to kill themselves or you , if you leave.

Things may be calm for a while. Then the cycle begins again.


What you can do

When tension starts building:

  • Pay attention: to your feelings. Are you tense, fearful or on edge?
  • Don’t minimize: or deny the danger.
  • Don’t try to argue: or reason. You can’t change a batterer’s mind or behavior.
  • Get away if you can. Don’t say you’re leaving. This may put you in more danger.

During the explosion:

  • Try to avoid unsafe areas in your houseStay away from the kitchen ( where knives are kept), the basement or garage (where tools are stored) and any rooms with guns. Avoid rooms with hard surfaces and only one exit, such as the bathroom.
  • Get away, if you can.
  • Protect yourself. This is he most important thing.
  • If you’re being hit, protect your face with your hands and arms. If you’re knocked down, curl up in a ball on the floor and continue to protect your face and head.

If you hear “I’m sorry”: 

  • Know that no matter what the batterer says, without professional help the violence will probably happen again.
  • Get help for yourself. Find out how to be safer when the violence happens again.,

                                An apology doesn’t mean the violence will stop.

It’s not your fault 

Battering is not your fault. the batterer is the one who has the problem and the one who needs to get help. 

You might feel confused.  Many women who are battered fell ashamed, afraid, guilty or humiliated. They think they should be able to make it stop, They can’t.

Violence is dangerous and unpredictable. it may not follow a cycle. If it does, the time between explosions tends to get shorter. In the future, there may be no “I’m sorry” stage.

Violence usually keeps happening. Without professional help, it may get worse over time. The batterer may eventually kill you or himself, or both of you,

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you the abuse is your fault. No one ever deserves to be battered.

You can get help

  • Call the women’s crisis line in your community. they can tell you what resources are available. or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Hyde County, NC residents can call Hyde County Hotline at: 252-925-2500,our 24/7 hours/days crisis line.
  • Make a list of family and friends who could help in an emergency. Ask what they would be willing to do(transportation,shelter, money, etc,)
  • Join a support group. You’ll learn more about domestic violence. Groups for battered women an give you information, comfort and support.
  • Find out our legal rights. There are ways to keep a batterer away from you, your home and your children. Call a women’s shelter or the County Bar Association to learn what to do.
  • Get counseling. Find a counselor who understands domestic violence and is sensitive to those who’ve been through it. Ask a women’s shelter to refer you to someone.
  • Go to a shelter(a place where you and your children can stay for a while), Shelters offer safety, counseling and support while decide what to do next.

You need to get help for yourself and have a good plan to stay safe. 

What children need to know

Therapy groups

Batterers must get professional help to stop the violence.

  • They have to want to stop.
  • They must agree to weekly sessions in a therapy group for batterers for a t least 1 year. Therapists trained in domestic violence lead these groups. They try to help batterers. change their violent behavior.

Alcohol and drug treatment programs

Using alcohol and other drugs can add to violent behavior. But treatment for drug or alcohol abuse isn’t enough. A batterer still needs help to stop battering.

What is domestic violence?

Abusing a partner physically, emotionally or sexually is called domestic violence. it is also called “battering.”

  • Battering is physical force used to control or hurt someone. Batterers hit, slap, kick, push or sexually assault (rape) the other person.
  • Emotional abuse is also a form of violence. Threats, shouting, name calling and other verbal abuses are used to frighten and control the other person.



24 HOUR CRISIS LINE 252-925-2500

PO BOX 35, Engelhard, NC 27824

Office 252-925-2502