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Narcissistic Abuse is Domestic Abuse. Understanding the Cycle of Abuse. What is domestic abuse?.
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Narcissistic Abuse is Domestic Abuse Understanding the Cycle of Abuse
What is domestic abuse? • Domestic abuse is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual intended to exert power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship. Domestic abuse is maintained by societal and cultural attitudes, in addition to institutions and laws which are not consistent in naming this abuse as wrong. • Includes: Verbal, emotional, and financial abuse. In extreme cases, the abuser will resort to physical/sexual assault.
Definitions Pattern: Domestic abuse involves more than one or even several isolated incidents of abuse; it involves an interrelated pattern that includes a wide variety of abusive behaviors that often increase in frequency and intensity.
Definitions – cont. Abusive Behaviors: Includes verbal assaults and threats, emotional abuse including intimidation, physical assaults, sexual assaults, the revelation of affairs, smear campaigns, gaslighting, pathological lying, making you feel inferior, exploitation of boundaries, and control and shock tactics.
Definitions – cont. Intended to Exert Power and Control: The pattern of behaviors is not a matter of coincidence or “in the heat of the moment”, but an ongoing part of the relationship, designed to maintain power over the partner.
Definitions – cont. • Coercion: compelling another to act through manipulation and/or taking advantage of circumstance, personality, and/or emotions (e.g. guilt, fear, pity, anger). • Threat: a behavior, statement, or expression that communicates the intention of someone to cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to another.
Definitions – cont. • Deceit: communicating a lie, an untrue statement, or creating a false circumstance. • Exploitation: the unjust treatment of a human being as a commodity or an object and without consideration for their well-being, for another’s benefit.
Definitions – cont. Power of Authority: manipulating and/or taking advantage of one’s perceived higher social and/or professional standing over another to influence their thought, opinion, or behavior.
The Cycle of Abuse The Cycle of Abuse is briefly explained as a continuous cycle of three phases, where an individual or family is trapped, that leads to a disruption of “normal” lifestyles. The individual or family members are hooked into feeling that there is hope for the abuser to change (patterns or behaviors), that things will get better. The Three Phases are as follows: (1) Tension Phase: May lasts for days or weeks, sometimes hours Stress builds during this stage Communication breaks down Victim senses growing danger, tries to avoid “Minor” violence/abuse occurs Incidents occur more often, intensity increases Family denies, minimizes, blames external factors Hopes “somehow” things will change
(2) Crisis Phase: May last 2-24 hours or few days Anxiety extremely high Major, uncontrolled verbal abuse occurs Explosive, acute, unpredictable May be sometimes result in physical abuse Abuser blames victim Victim accommodates in order to survive Victim may escape, returns when crisis is over Victim may isolate, collapse emotionally
(3) Calm Phase:May last for days or weeks Victim(s) in shock at first Abuser may be extremely remorseful, seek forgiveness All are relieved crisis is past Victim worn down, accepts promises, presents Children become caretakers to “keep the peace” Abuser may display kind, loving behavior Family welcomes this “honeymoon” stage Symbolic bonding reinforced Family wants to believe the violence won’t recur Survival via denial and negotiation
Where to turn • National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233) (800) 787-3224 (TTY) http://www.thehotline.org/ • (National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (800) 537-2238 -The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) provides a wide range of free, comprehensive and individualized technical assistance, training and resource materials. The scope of NRCDV’s technical assistance is broad and includes domestic violence intervention and prevention, community education and organizing, public policy and systems advocacy, and funding.
Where to turn • Adult Protective Services 24-hour, toll free Hotline (888) 832-3858 -APS investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults 60 years of age or older and incapacitated adults age 18 or older. National Human Trafficking Resource Center • 24-hour Hotline (888) 373-7888 -Operating the central 24-hour national human trafficking hotline for the United States and connecting professionals, victims, and community members to information and services.