The violence committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle is called domestic violence. This violence includes immediate family members, partners, friends, or other relatives.
Understanding the different stages of domestic violence can help victims cope with this crisis. A different emotional response characterizes each stage. The first stage is the crisis or abuse, while the second phase is known as the tension-building or denial stage. The PARs programs are great option for treating these types of violence.
Abuse or crisis phase:
The abuse or crisis phase starts with the tension between the abuser and the victim. As tension builds, the abuser becomes irritable and verbally abusive, and the victim may feel powerless to stop the violence. The abuser may become dangerous and even attempt to kill the victim. The victim often feels helpless and desperate and may try to seek help from others.
The tension-building phase of domestic violence is when the abuser builds up their anger. The abuser will verbally harass the victim and become possessive, jealous, and aggressive. In an effort to maintain the peace, the victim will try to avoid the abuser’s anger. Some victims will even try to set the abuser off by doing things that will irritate the abuser.
In the Denial stage, the abuser’s actions are minimized. The abuser may make excuses such as feeling depressed, missing their partner, or blaming external factors. Sometimes, the abuser will make the victim tell others they have nothing to do with their abuse. The victim may even feel guilty for telling the truth about the abuse.
The victim often becomes agreeable and nurturing to the abuser while staying in the background. Denial is a self-defense mechanism for the battered woman because she believes she can control her feelings and anger. The victim’s denial often keeps her trapped in an abusive relationship and prevents her from seeking help.
Victim’s perspective of self:
During the first stage, a victim thinks of violence as a ‘one-off’ occurrence. She feels hurt but can accept the abuser’s apology and excuses. She may even experience depression and psychological paralysis. Her relationship with the abuser has left her feeling scared and helpless. This stage is a critical time for the victim to seek help.