Myth: Domestic violence is usually a one-time occurrence, an isolated incident.
Fact: Domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of behavior that escalates and becomes more frequent.
Domestic violence is very rarely an isolated incidence. Domestic violence is patterned behavior that escalates over time. People often believe that domestic violence only happens once as a result of a heated argument or as a situation where an intimate partner “snapped” or unexpectedly lost control. In most cases the personal details of the relationship are not known to others. The victim often hides the truth due to fear and/or embarrassment. This makes it easier for the abuser to downplay the incident along with other abusive behaviors.
No two batterers are the same. Most abusers use various tactics to gain power and control over their partner. Some tactics abusers use may not appear abusive to outsiders looking in, many tactics may appear romantic, caring or loving.
Batterers often use remorse as a way to keep the victim in the relationship. Batterers often promise to change their behavior, go to counseling and give up substance abuse. These heartfelt apologies and promises often give the victim hope that things will get better. The apologies and promises quickly turn into denial followed by blaming their behavior on the victim. The behaviors displayed by the abuser and victim are all a part of the Cycle of Abuse.