CASA of Arizona

Domestic Violence - pg. 3

Cycle of Violence




Effective intervention to prevent or remedy child neglect is dependent on accurate and continuing assessment. Assessment is an ongoing process that begins with the first contact and continues throughout the life of a case.

Build-up phase - This time is characterized by increasing tension between the couple.

Stand-over phase - The offender uses aggression and violence to frighten and control his partner. Following the assault the offender moves into the remorse phase.

Remorse phase - The offender feels ashamed of his behavior, tries to minimize it, and blames it on the survivor; e.g., "She knows I get mad when she does that," or "It was only a bit of a shove." The woman may go along with her partner because to do otherwise could mean acknowledging the terror and the danger with which she is living.

Pursuit phase - The offender attempts to convince his partner that he needs her. If the buy-back attempts seem not to be working, he is likely to resort to threats and violence. This can be a life-threatening time for women as many are murdered in this phase.

Honeymoon phase - There is a high degree of intimacy, as the couple cling to each other after the near separation. Eventually, and sometimes very quickly, the cycle resumes itself.

Note: The cycle of violence does not apply to all violent partnerships. The length of each phase is an individual factor; some couples may experience the entire cycle several times in a day, and others may take weeks to complete one cycle.


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