Battered Persons Advocacy

Cycle of Violence

We experience violence differently in close relationships than we do with a stranger.

Perpetrators of intimate partner violence are motivated by dynamics of power and control.

Intimate partner violence is a learned behavior that is created by observing others.

Violence is reinforced when society fails to act.

The cycle of violence nearly always increases in frequency and severity as time goes on.  Sometimes the cycle takes a long time to get through, in other relationships the cycle is repeated more than one time in a day.

Fantasy Setup

Batterers and abusers fantasize about their past and future abuses, often without realizing the difference between fantasy and reality.

These fantasies fuel the abuser’s anger. He begins to plan another attack by placing his victims in situations which he knows will anger him.

Tension building

The abuser might set up the victim so she is bound to anger him.

The victim is apologetic, knowing her abuser is likely to erupt.

She may even defend his actions.


The batterer behaves violently, inflicting pain and abuse on the victim.

Guilt of Fear and Reprisal

After the violence, the abuser may have feelings of guilt.

Often these are thinly disguised fears of being caught.

He may blame drugs or alcohol for the outburst.

Blaming the Victim

The abuser can’t stand the feelings of guilt and fear, so he quickly rationalizes his actions and blames the victim.

“It was her fault.”

“She made me hit her.”

“She asked for it.”


At this point, the abuser often exhibits kind and loving behavior and minimizes the abuse that happened.

Sometimes the normalcy is welcomed by both parties, sometimes it is not as the victim intuitively knows what is coming next.

Soon, the cycle begins again when the abuser begins to fantasize about power and control.

Any person, man, woman, child, teen, elder can be a victim of intimate partner violence.  However, the majority of adult victims are women (90%).  BPA provides services to all victims, regardless of gender or age.