What is the cycle of abuse?
The cycle of abuse is a social cycle theory developed in 1979 by Lenore E. Walker to explain patterns of behavior in an abusive relationship. It is one of the most confusing things that a victim of domestic violence can experience because it's such a roller coaster of emotions. It can leave someone feeling not only completely lost but on the verge of insanity. It can be broken down into several different phases which will be explained into further detail below.
How often does the cycle of abuse occur?
The cycle can happen hundreds of times during the course of an abusive relationship. One total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete. Each stage can vary greatly in the amount of time it takes to complete, and a stage may be skipped altogether. Typically the cycle shortens each time, so that very soon the honeymoon and tension building phases are shorter and the explosion is longer and more violent.