The Cycle of Abuse

The Cycle of Abuse is a social theory by Dr Lenore Walker in 1979. Walker interviewed over a thousand domestic violence survivors early in her career. She found that there was a familiar pattern to the abuse that they had experienced. She named that pattern The Cycle of Abuse. Maybe it was something you've experienced in your family of origin or in a relationship?

When I was looking for a diagram of the Cycle a few weeks ago, I found ones that looked as if they, too, were from 1979! Ugh. The Cycle may be a bit depressing in content but it doesn't have to look that way. So I updated it. Aside from the improving the looks of things, I made another change. Can you tell what it is?

Don't miss these!

Below are some easy-to-understand definitions for everyday terms (intimate partner violence, trigger, gaslighting, trauma-informed and sexual trauma).

Click an image below to make it bigger.

The Power and Control Wheel

Domestic violence and sexual abuse cannot exist without one person exerting their power to control someone else. The Power and Control Wheel helps abuse survivors and those who work with abuse survivors better understand abuse in the context of power and control.

Like The Cycle of Abuse, this tool hasn't been updated in decades. Until now. In November 2016, my intern Shante re-did this tool to include additional details around "economic abuse" and "isolation". She also updated the original language of "male privilege" to read "privilege" to be more inclusive to survivors who do not identify as female.