The cycle of violence depicts a pattern often experienced in abusive relationships. The three phases repeat over and over. Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse in an intimate relationship that escalates over time. The cycle of violence is inter-generational. It not only repeats itself in an abusive relationship, it repeats itself by emerging in the relationships of people who experienced and witnessed violence in their homes growing up.
How to Help a Friend Who Is Being Abused
- Believe the person. Tell the person it is not her/his fault, and nobody deserves to be abused (no matter what the partner says).
- Don’t try to force the person to break up. When the person is ready, she/he will leave.
- Offer your support, and refer your friend to the resources we offer.
- Educate yourself about abuse.
Checklist – What to take when you leave
Your Safety and Emotional Health
- If you are thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
- If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way to do so. Have someone with you.
- Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
- Plan to attend a support group to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship.
- Decide who you can call to give you the support you need.
- No one deserves to be abused.
Safety When Preparing to Leave
- Always try to take your children with you or make arrangements to leave them with someone safe.
- Determine who would let you stay with them or be willing to lend you money.
- Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone you trust.
- Open a savings account in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence.
- Keep the shelter numbers close at hand along with other important numbers.
- Remember – leaving your batterer can be the most dangerous time.
Safety in Your Home
- Inform neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see your abuser near your home.
- Rehearse a safety plan with your children.
- Inform you children’s school or day care about who has permission to pick up your children (provide them a copy of your restraining order).
- Change/add locks on your doors and windows as soon as possible.
- Change your telephone number.
Safety On the Job and in Public
- Decide who at work you will inform of your situation. This should include office or building security (provide a picture of your batterer if possible).
- Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if possible.
- Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, bus or train. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home.