Cycle of Violence

Police Chief

David Rausch
chiefofpolice@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-7000

800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37915

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Domestic Violence consists of three areas that continually "cycle" 1 - 2 - 3 and begin again. 

1. Tension Building
Victim feels tense and afraid, like "walking on eggshells." Feels helpless, becomes compliant, accepts blame. Abuser is edgy, has minor explosions. Abuser finds fault with seemingly minor occurences. May become verbally and emotionally abusive.

2. Explosion Phase
The tension becomes unbearable and a violent or abusive incident occurs. The longer the abuse has been going on, the more severe the battering phase becomes. Victim may try to cover up injury or may look for help at this time.

3. Honeymoon Phase
Abuser may apologize and display loving behavior such as giving gifts, flowers, and doing special things for the victim. The victim is trusting and is hoping abuser will change. Victim wants to believe partner's promises. Victim may also blame herself or himself for the abuse.