Ending the Cycle of Abuse

James R. Becker and JoAnna N. Becker

September 16, 2019

“You’re stupid!”

“You’re lazy!”

“Why do you make me hit you?”

Some are more obvious than others, but these are all common things said in abusive relationships. According the domestic violence statics of 2018 in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds and almost one in every five teenage girls has been threatened by a boyfriend while in a relationship. While both of these statistics were for women, according to a recently published study done by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University shows that males are more likely to have been in an unhealthy or abusive relationship then females. Domestic violence can affect anyone - no matter race, gender, religious belief, age or gender. Getting into an abusive relationship is easy, getting out requires courage and often help. 

Abuse falls into one of three categories physical, sexual, or emotional. Most relationships have a mix of the three and the abuser does a remarkable job covering up their abusive tendencies towards their partners. In today’s world, our society has normalized unhealthy behavior by using phrases such as “ride or die” (meaning that you stick with your partner till the end) to make it more difficult to get out of an abusive relationship. Having this type of mind set can be detrimental in an abusive relationship because it can cause you to be stuck. During an abusive relationship there is what psychologists refer to as ‘the cycle of abuse.“  After an abusive incident takes place, it is followed by a “honeymoon stage.”  This is when an abuser takes advantage of his or her partner and then is nicer to him or her and promises it will never happen again. The honeymoon phase can make it extremely difficult for the victim to leave the relationship because they think that the abuser can change.  The unfortunate truth is that leopards really don't change their spots.

The first step of getting out of an abusive relationship is making the decision to leave. Once that decision has been made, it is imperative that the victim have a safe spot in place to protect their safety and the ones around them.  Once these things are handled, the victim can really begin to terminate the abusive relationship.  Becoming the victim of domestic violence is not your fault.  You do not have to stay in this relationship.  If you are married, a lawyer can help you get a divorce and a fair settlement to start a new life.  Do not let your story be one of a victim, be a survivor and write your own story.