The cycle of violence is a recurring pattern in many relationships and plays an important role in perpetuating violence. The cycle of violence typically consists of four stages:
Tension phase: In this stage, the potential for violence increases before the violent act occurs. Arguments, minor disagreements, and other stressors can increase tension.
Violence phase: Following the tension phase, the act of violence can be physical, sexual, psychological, or any other type of violence.
Reconciliation phase: After the act of violence, the aggressor typically feels regret and apologizes to the victim. The victim may accept these apologies and try to continue the relationship.
Calm phase: Following the reconciliation phase, the relationship may continue normally for a period of time, but the potential for violence increases again and the cycle begins anew.
The cycle of violence can repeat with increasing severity and frequency, seriously damaging a woman's self-esteem, confidence, and physical health.