Shattered Clock

Phase One: The Tension Building

  • During this phase, tension mounts in the relationship.

  • Abuser may become increasingly irritable, frustrated, unable to cope with everyday stress

  • Victim feels they are “walking on eggshells”; they can sense their partner’s edginess

  • In order to cope, victims will deny that violence will occur and believe it can be controlled; they try to be compliant, nurturing, or stay out of the way of the abuser

  • Abuser may become fearful partner will leave and becomes more oppressive, jealous, and possessive

Phase Two: The Incident

  • The abusers intent at first is to teach the victim a lesson

  • Abuser loses control and acts violently

  • Abuser claims not to want to hurt victim, just to teach a lesson and justifies actions

  • May begin with a push or a shove but with time could escalate to a punch, use of weapons, serious injuries

Phase Three: The Honeymoon

  • This phase is characterized by extreme kindness and loving behaviours on the part of the abuser

  • Abuser fears victim will leave and tries to make up for the incident. Becomes charming, brings gifts, promises to never do it again

  • The combination of being treated so well and being needed, can entice the victim to stay; as well that the victim wants to believe the partner will change and/or feels responsible for the abuse

  • In advanced stages of abuse; the honeymoon phase may be reduced to a day without violence or is totally absent

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