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Addicted to Violence; Why Do We Continue the Cycle? – October 3, 2011
-Author Aleasa M. Word

He says, “When we love, we love hard. It’s so good normally. Then there is this rage thing that comes over her and she just goes off. After that she’s always apologetic. I just don’t get it because we really love each other and I try not to get her started.”

Those words have an eerie resound as they sound all too familiar to domestic violence survivors. They also sound familiar to those still caught up in the cycle of domestic violence. According to the Dr. Lenore Walker’s Cycle of Violence Theory, the pattern is broken down into 3 phases. The phases being Tension Building (problems & emotional state begin to take a toll), Acute Battering Episode (tension peaks and violence begins), The Honeymoon Phase (abuser is ashamed, shows remorse, even tries to blame victim, becomes loving).

Many wonder why people get caught up in this cycle. Others ask - why don’t they just leave? Psychologists theorize, money is spent on research, programs are put in place yet people still get caught up in the circle of domestic violence. At the end of it all the one question that remains is - why?

I wouldn’t dare pretend I was a doctor and even with my formal training on the horizon I don’t hold any credentials as a psychologist either. However, as a domestic abuse survivor, from my perspective what I wanted most was love and acceptance. No matter how beautiful you are, no matter how intelligent you are, no matter how much money you have, we all have an innate desire to be loved and accepted. That even goes for the abuser. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs even speaks to belonging as being part of the 5 basic needs we have as humans. To feel unwanted by the object of your affection, close friends or family can be devastating.

Many times our families and friends don’t even like the person we are with and that compounds the problem even more because we don’t want them to be right. We want to appear as though we are in control and know what we are doing. To admit anything else would leave us feeling inferior and rejected. Depending on the victim’s self esteem, whether it was low before they met this person or beaten down by them, we often even feel like we did something to provoke it.

Like with anything else, domestic violence can cause addiction. As humans we can become addicted to almost anything, so why not domestic violence? We become addicted to the intense passion of the relationship. We become enablers by explaining away the behaviors of the abuser. “They never acted like this before. They are under a lot of stress. They have a hormonal disorder. It’s really not like that or that bad. They’re only words.”…… and the list goes on. Truth is, there is no excuse for physically or emotionally abusing anyone. Parents do it to children, children do it to parents, friends do it to friends, and lovers do it to loved ones. We somehow know it’s wrong and does not fit into our societal norms so we try to hide it like any other nasty little habit. Yet even with that, we continue until someone gets sick and tired of being sick and tired, someone gets arrested or even worse someone is severely injured or killed. Many times it does not stop and we pass it down to the next generation and so on.

All and all domestic violence whether it is physical, emotional, sexual or even financial, is never the correct choice. It is hard to remove yourself from someone you love so intensely. It is however something that is unhealthy, life threatening and mentally destructive for both parties. People lose time from work, become angry parents or walk around with in fear with a chip on their shoulder. We sometimes judge these same people because we have no clue what is going on in their home.

Most of us either know someone who has lived this life or may have even been victims or abusers ourselves. Don’t let your experiences be without reason. Think about how you can help these victims today whether you volunteer at a domestic violence shelter or donate money to one. There is someone out there who will benefit from your kind heart. The one thing we cannot afford to do is look the other way, because we never know when it will affect our family.

For more help on this topic, please contact a qualified professional in this area and get the help for yourself or your loved one that is needed.

Author's Bio: 

Aleasa Word,CLC, CEIC the owner of Allergy Words Consulting, LLC started her career working in critical Investment Support Administration Services over 20 years ago. Her career has spanned the areas of brokerage, high net worth & international portfolio management, proxy administration, trust investments and investment compliance & regulatory oversight. She obtained her Webmaster Certification at the University of Delaware, has a Diploma for Trust, Relationship and Investment Management through the American Bankers Association, is a certified Protect Allergic Children Consultant and is completing her BS in Organizational Dynamics at Wilmington University. She is also the author of a daily column entitled “The Wordallogic” which posts articles on various topics of interest on her company’s website.
Ms. Word has had a long term interest in volunteerism. In the early 90’s she volunteered with Child Inc’s Welcome Baby Program. She provided assistance and support to mothers of newborns in the first six months of life in an effort to reduce the infant mortality rate. In 2005 Ms. Word served as Vice President of the founding board of Family Foundations Academy Charter School . She has served as Lactation Coordinator for her employer’s nursing mother’s program for six years and is a wellness committee member. Her most passionate causes include domestic violence prevention and food allergic & asthmatic awareness and advocacy. She began formally advocating for food allergic children through volunteer work with the Food Allergy Support Team of Delaware (F.A.S.T.) in 2007 where she served as co-chair. She is a Certified Food Allergy Education Consultant with the Protect Allergic Children Program a division of The ELL Foundation of Illinois as well as a member of their Advisory Board. Her affiliations also include a seat on the Adult Advisory Committee for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network(FAAN) along with a dual role as Chair of FAAN's Delaware Walk for Food Allergy, one of over 40 nationwide walks to raise awareness and fund research. In this capacity, she spearheaded the effort to have a proclamation issued by Governor Jack Markell, declaring Food Allergy Awareness week for the first time in Delaware's History in 2010. To add a layer of additional support on the local level, Ms. Word founded FAMSOD, the Food Allergic Multi-Cultural Society of Delaware in May of 2010. FAMSOD offers education, outreach, advocacy and social networking to the food allergic and asthmatic communities through cultural inclusion. As well as her accomplishments in the food allergic community, Ms. Word has been a strong supporter of teens & music for creative expression and behavioral re-direction. She has managed local singing groups for many years and served on the committee for AIDS Delaware's, Delaware Teen Idol Competitions since 2008 as Artist Development Director. From 2002-2003 Ms. Word also served as a talk show host for a program entitled 302 Pushing Gospel to the Edge which was directed at providing health, education and personal growth information to teens and young adults. Other partnerships include committee memberships with Healthy Kids Delaware, Delaware Domestic Violence Coalition, DE Family Support Initiative & AAUW. She also volunteers for the Delaware Emergency Medical Corp.