Domestic violence covers any incident of threatening behavior, violence or abuse between adults, who are or have been, in a relationship.  The abuse may be

·         Emotional

One person is put down, called names, made to think that they are crazy, lots of mind games, being humiliated, being made feel guilty

·         Intimidation

One person puts down the other by looks, gestures, actions, smashing things, abusing the pets, displaying weapons

·         Isolation

Controlling the other person, who they see, who they talk to, where they go, limiting their outside involvement, using jealousy to justify their actions

·         Economic

Not letting the other person know or have access to the family income, making the other ask for money, and not letting the other person get a job, or keep their own money

·         Coercion or threats

Making or carrying out threats of violence, kicking, punching, choking the other person, using the children, hurting the children, threatening to leave or commit suicide, threatening to take the children


Cycle of violence



·         Any type of abuse occurs (Physical, emotional, sexual)


Tension builds

·         Abuser starts to get angry

·         There is a breakdown of communication

·         Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm

·         Victim feels they and the children, are ‘walking on egg shells’


Making up

·         Abuser may apologize

·         Abuser may promise that it will never happen again

·         Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse

·         Abuser may deny the abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim is claiming

·         As long as the abuser is calm, everyone may deny that anything happened



·         Abuser acts like the abuse never happened

·         Victim may minimize what is happening around them

·         Victim may teach the children how to minimize what the abuser is doing and that everyone just needs to be careful around the person doing the abuse

·         Abuse may give gifts to the victim and the children


This cycle can be repeated hundreds of times in an abusive relationship without dramatic changes.  These cycles of behavior are often inherited, set up in the family of origin and then continued down the generations until someone decides to get help to change the cycle. 


What a client can expect in therapy?


The client can expect to a completely, safe, confidential place to share their story.  An exploration of the cycle of events and what can be done, if anything to change the cycle.  It is important that the client remains safe at all times!