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Cycle of Abuse

  • Incident: Any type of abuse occurs, physical, sexual or emotional/mental.

  • Tension Building: The abuser starts to get angry, and abuse begins. The victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm and will try to placate the abuser in any way possible. Tension continues to build and the victim feels like they have to walk on “egg shells.” Violence occurs.

  • Making Up: The abuser apologizes for the abuse and promises it will never happen again. The abuser often blames the victim for causing the abuse and the abuser may even deny the abuse took place.

  • Calm: The abuser acts like the abuse never happened or promises to never abuse again. Victims hope the abuse is over for good and the abuser may give the victim gifts as a form of apology.

Then the Cycle of Abuse repeats itself. The Cycle can happen hundreds of times and each stage can last a different length of time during the relationship. The total Cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete. It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often as time goes by, the “Making Up” and “Calm” stages disappear.

Contact details

On-line service only

San Francisco, CA 


I have morning, day and evening hours available -- Tuesday through Saturday.

Fees vary from therapist to therapist. My standard fee is $180 - $220 per counseling hour. I also can work on a sliding scale on off-peak hours. I offer a free 30 minute consultation by phone or in-person. 

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