Abuse follows a cycle that has three stages:
- Stage One — Tensions build
- Stage Two — Abuse takes place
- Stage Three — Abuser feels remorse. Stage three is when the victim has the most control. But as the cycle repeats itself, the abuser often feels less and less remorse. Abuse tends to become more severe. If you have experienced one episode of abuse, there is a good chance that abuse will take place again.
Victims often go through 5 to 7 episodes of abuse before they seek help or leave the relationship. The longer the abuse continues, the more difficult it often becomes for the victim to leave.