The Cycle of Violence in Domestic Abuse

Submitted by Samuel Treanor, Human Resources Analyst

Whether Team Edward or Team Jacob, Twilight is rife with examples of abuse. One of the earliest examples of abuse in the series comes when Bella is excused from school and Edward escorts her to his car. Things are happy until she decides to drive herself home. He suddenly grabs her and pulls her back to his car. When she considers running to her truck, he threatens that he could just drag her back. After resigning herself to Edward’s control, they start discussing music and are again relaxed with each other. 

This pattern repeats itself: Bella and Edward seem to be happy. Tension rises between them. Tension breaks when Edward dominates Bella. Edward sometimes apologizes. Bella believes it was her fault.  

Abusive relationships follow this pattern. Called the Cycle of Violence, the pattern has three parts. First, the honeymoon, when things are going great in the relationship. Second, tension rises as the abuser feels a loss of control. Third, the explosion, when the abuser violently reminds their victim that the abuser is in control. The cycle then returns to the honeymoon period. The abuse continues when apologies are made that convince the victim that the abuse was their fault. 

Does this pattern seem familiar? Have you seen it among your friends or coworkers or experienced it yourself? There are resources and support available to help you. Contra Costa County’s domestic violence service agency is STAND! For Families Free of Violence. Their 24-hour crisis and counseling line is (888) 215-5555.