If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, recognizing the warning signs can be crucial to finding safety and getting help. Many abusers use a predictable pattern to gain power and control over their victims. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the four-part cycle originally set forth in the 1970s by Lenore Walker and her book “The Battered Woman.” We’ll also explore some reasons why this model may not be as helpful as experts once thought.
Threats: Often, threats are made against the victim’s physical or emotional well-being. An abuser may threaten to leave or hurt themselves, or they might say that if the victim tries to leave, they’ll be killed or seriously injured. This can make the victim feel afraid to express doubt or uncertainty about their relationship.
Emotional abuse: An abuser may isolate their victim from their family and friends, leaving them reliant on their partner for support. They might also criticize their appearance or abilities, making them feel ashamed or worthless. Belittling: An abuser may belittle their victim in public or private, calling them names and lowering their self-esteem. They might even make the victim feel like they’re crazy or overly sensitive.
It’s important to remember that abuse can take many forms and that the victim is not to blame. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trained professional for help and guidance.