Background to My Interest in Teaching Children with Autism

Letters to Young People – On Being Imperfect – On Spousal Abuse, continued
Each stage of the [abuse] cycle can last from a few minutes to a number of months, but within an abusive relationship, the following stages can often be pin-pointed:
• Tension starts and steadily builds
• Abuser starts to get angry
• Communication breaks down
• Victim feels the need to concede to the abuser
• Tension becomes too much
• Victim feels uneasy and a need to watch every move
INCIDENT or “Acting Out” phase
• Any type of abuse occurs
• Physical
• Sexual
• Emotional
• Or other forms of abuse as found in the power and control wheel.
HONEYMOON or Reconciliation phase
• Abuser apologizes for abuse, some beg forgiveness or show sorrows
• Abuser may promise it will never happen again
• Blames victim for provoking the abuse or denies abuse occurred
• Minimizing, denying or claiming the abuse wasn’t as bad as victim claims
CALM before the tension starts again.
• Abuses slow or stop
• Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
• Promises made during honeymoon stage may be met
• Abuser may give gifts to victim
• Victim believes or wants to believe the abuse is over or the abuser will change
(Often the cycle of violence is portrayed as 3 steps: tension, acting out and honeymoon phases, where the Honeymoon and Calm phase are seen as one.)
This information is provided courtesy of Kim Eyer of .

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