In this part of the cycle of domestic violence the tension building has been strained to the boiling over point, an explosion occurs.
This can include hitting, kicking, sexual assault, choking etc. In the earlier stages of the relationship the violence may be less severe. If the cycle has been going on long this stage of the domestic violence cycle may increase in duration and severity. This stage may involve weapons or objects or physical strength. It can leave the victim in need of medical care they may or may not get. Sometimes the abuser may also be in need of medial care.
Drugs or alcohol may be involved but that is not always the case. It is important to remember that neither drugs nor alcohol cause domestic violence.
The victim may try to cover up the injury or make excuses citing “clumsiness” or “tripping over my own two feet”. Some victims will try to seek help after this stage. They may intentionally avoid family or friends for fear they will realize something is not right. This increases the victim’s feelings of isolation.
The abuser or victim may blame alcohol, drugs or stress as an excuse to hit. There is never a reason for domestic violence.
If the victim survives, the honeymoon period starts and the cycle of domestic violence continues.
Fortunately, education can help potential victims recognize the signs that their significant other could have an abusive personality.
Is there a cycle of domestic violence in your life? If you want help the National Domestic Violence Helpline has resources.