Lenore Walker's cycle of violence is a theory that considers the existence of three phases in a dynamic of gender violence. This psychologist has been working for more than forty years on this type of violence. According to her, it is possible to disarticulate. In addition to her work, this woman accompanies women who have been abused and struggle to defend themselves in court.
According to this expert,the victims do not openly denounce their executioner for fear of reprisals.They are also worried about worsening the situation in which they find themselves, especially if they are economically dependent on their aggressor. Walter has brought a very useful instrument to the psychology of gender violence. An instrument that helps to understand the suffering of abused women and the difficult path they run to break definitively with the perpetrator of abuse.
She published the conclusions of her phase theory in 1979. She relied on the testimonies of abused women with whom she worked. Walker realized that these women were not always assaulted. Or that they did not suffer the same violence.On the contrary, there would be phases of different durations and with distinct manifestations.
She therefore established a pattern of behavior similar to all situations of abuse. Thanks to this, she was able to observe how these norms recurred in a cyclical way.Thus, the cycle of violence described by Walker helps us understand how gender violence occurs.
Recent research helps to explain that the impossibility of breaking out of the cycle of violence aggravates the consequences and leads to a fatal outcome.Gender violence involves the loss of the media that make up the personality of the human being. These are just the biological, psychological and social determinants.
The cycle of violence: phases of abuse
L. Walker's cycle of violence is one of the best-known theories about the phases of gender violence.
Accumulation phase of the voltage
During this phase,the tension just builds up gradually. This is characterized by ongoing arguments and violent acts.This is a step without a fixed term. It can be a matter of weeks, months, years … There are mostly crises of jealousy, screams or arguments.
Insults or verbal abuse are interpreted by the victim as isolated cases that can be controlled.The abuser experiences sudden mood changes, gets angry for insignificant things, and is tense and irritated.
The victimtry to adopt behaviors that do not make the couple's situation worse. She tries to calm the other by thinking that the conflicts will eventually stop. She tends to feel guilty by justifying the behavior of the aggressor. Whenever a minor aggression incident occurs, there are residual effects of increased tension on the aggressor. This one, motivated by the apparent passivity of the victim, does not even try to control himself.
This is the shortest phase.Where violence breaks out. The lack of control is absolute and it is at this moment that the physical, psychological and / or sexual aggressions occur.The victim feels several emotions: disbelief, anxiety, then she isolates herself and feels helpless in the face of what happened. Several days may pass before she asks for help.
During this phase, the aggressor asks for forgiveness. He promises the victim that this behavior will not be repeated. He uses emotional manipulation strategies so that the relationship does not end.
Accepting gifts, invitations or promises only reinforces violent behavior.The tension accumulated during the accumulation and aggression phase has disappeared.
The possibility of denouncing aggression becomes almost non-existent: the change of attitude of the other pushes the woman to think that it was only a punctual fact and that it will not happen again.The victim wants to believe that she will never again suffer from abuse.The aggressor's moderation and tenderness during this phase lead him to believe that he has changed. But this phase of conciliation ends when the calm disappears and when the small incidents and vexations reappear.
"Any time of the day or night is good to say stop and put an end to a stage of your life that you would have preferred not to live."
-Raimunda de Peñaflor-
How to break the cycle of violence?
To break the cycle of violence, it is necessary for the victim to become aware of his situation.Only then can she begin to receive emotional and professional help.
Over the past few years, a problem has been given more visibility that is more serious and deeper than previously thought. The company has reacted with laws but we are far from the expected objectives. Concern is growing about the appearance of signs of regression in social perception.