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?
Did you guess it?
The old diagrams of the Cycle of Abuse don't include sexual assault as a type of incident. Neither does Walker in her explanation of the Cycle (that I can find). But it needs to be. Did you nod when I asked if the Cycle was familiar? Maybe, like me, you know well that a sexual violation was "your" incident. I know I'm not alone in this. Hundreds of women (and some men) have told their story of rape, after weeks of trying not to set off their abuser. A sexual violation is no less important or valid than physical abuse. So it's included here.
Agree? Disagree? Love the jewel tones? Want the old version? Share your thoughts below. Thanks for reading