31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 24

Battered Woman Syndrome:

The repeated episodes of physical assault on a woman by the person with whom she lives or with whom she has relationship, often resulting in serious physical and psychological damage to the woman.

Such violence tends to follow a predictable pattern. The violent episodes usually follow verbal argument and accusation and are accompanied by verbal abuse. Almost any subject -housekeeping, money, child rearing- may begin the episode. Over time, the violent episodes escalate in frequency and severity.

Most battered women report that they thought that the assaults would stop; unfortunately, studies show that the longer the women stay in the relationship the more likely they are to be seriously injured. Less and less provocation seems to be enough to trigger an attack once the syndrome has begun. The use of alcohol may increase the severity of the assault. The man is more likely to be abusive as the alcohol wears off.

Battering occurs in cycles of violence. In the firstphase the man acts increasingly irritable, edgy, and tense. Verbal abuse, insults, and criticism increase, andshoves or slaps begin. The second phase is the time of the acute, violent activity. As the tension mounts, the woman becomes unable to placate the man, and she may argue or defend herself. The man uses this as the justification for his anger and assaults her, often saying that he is “teaching her a lesson.” The third stage is characterized by apology and remorse on the part of the man, with promises of change. The calm continues until tension builds again.

Caring for and counseling a battered woman often require great patience because she is usually ambivalent about her situation and may be confused to the point of believing that she deserves the assaults she has suffered.

How Do You Heal From Battered Wife Syndrome?

Keep in mind that all of these ideas might not apply to you or your situation–you decide what fits best for you.

First priority is your physical safety and the physical safety of your children, if there are children involved. Child Protective Services and Family Services agencies in your area will be able to give you contact information for shelters where you can go and be safe from the abuser in your life. If you don’t value yourself enough to seek protection, then at least do it for your children.

Next you need to think about breaking the cycle of abuse. The components of the cycle, as you can see in the image, are unmet needs, anxiety, seeking love, finding relief, pleasing and appeasing, control and abuse, anger and fear, reconciliation and “back to normal.”

You break the cycle by taking responsibility for your safety (and your children’s safety if they’re part of it), rather than worrying about whether “he will get better” or focusing on the fact that you love him.

You break the cycle by respecting yourself enough to only maintain relationships in which you are treated with care and respect. You begin to recognize that you are a good person and you are worthy of respect in your relationships.

One of the best ways out of the battered wife syndrome is with healthy anger.  Anger is a protective emotion, and you need to have some healthy anger if you and/or your children are being abused. You are your own best anger management resource.

If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else can! In other words, you have to take the first steps, to reach out for help, then there will be others to help you.

If you just stay in the cycle, the abuse will only get worse, and could even become fatal.

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Fact Source: Anger Management Source

Fact Source: Medical Dictionary

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To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.

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3 thoughts on “31 Facts in 31 Days – Day 24

  1. When I was in the shelter, we had to take classes on abuse. When I was first shown the abuse cycle, I asked around the table, did your abuser follow this pattern? Mine never had the remorse or honeymoon period, but every other woman there had experienced it. I think that would have made it even harder for me to leave. So I was lucky, not to have that part of the cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see why they categorize the remorse/honeymoon phase as one but they are totally different.

      Only in the very, very beginning of the abuse was there remorse. He was always sorry and promised to not get like that again. As time went on, and I started to argue back (which always intensified the problem) there was no longer remorse because it was almost as if since I decided to fight back I knew what that would result in so it was my own fault.

      There was never really a “honeymoon” phase after an episode because although I believe he somewhere in his twisted mind believes he is “in love” with me, I was never “in love” with him. Yes, obviously I did like him in the beginning – more of a crush type like – as time went on the entire thing was more of a “situation” I got myself into so all of the emotional stuff was gone.

      Like

      • Yeah, that love is a hook. Better to not have it in these situations. One of the girls in the shelter had a man who would feed her lobster- each time she went into the hospital. That is a definite honeymoon!

        Liked by 1 person

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