Cycle of Abuse

Domestic Abuse is a cycle with a pattern which consists of three phases: the tension-building phase, the explosive/physical beating phase, and the loving phase. Unless this cycle of violence is broken, it will continue and the abuse will become more frequent and severe.

Power and Control Wheel

Safety Plan

  1. Keep with someone you trust: a spare set of keys, a set of clothes, important papers, prescriptions, and some money.
  2. Keep any evidence of physical abuse (ripped clothes, photos of bruises and injuries, etc.)
  3. Plan the safest time to get away.
  4. Know where you can go for help; tell someone what is happening to you. Have the phone numbers of friends, relatives, and domestic violence programs with you.
  5. Call the police if you are in danger and need help.
  6. If you are injured, go to a hospital emergency room or doctor and report what happened to you, ask that they document your visit.
  7. Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them: a room with a lock or a neighbor’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them their job is to stay safe, not protect you.
  8. Arrange a signal with a neighbor, i.e., if the porch light is on, call the police.
  9. Contact the local domestic violence hotline listed below to find out about laws; the shelters and other resources available to you before you must use them, or during a crisis.