Every Person Should Be Taught the Cycle of Abuse

Lori Moulton
5 min readApr 27, 2023

Why isn’t this taught in schools?

One photo of a couple arguing, and one photo of a couple lovingly embracing.
Photo courtesy of Canva

Every Person Should Know What Abuse Looks Like

Every single person should be taught what abuse looks like, starting in elementary or middle school. I didn’t know what this cycle of abuse was. My family and friends also didn’t know. I knew, and my family and friends knew, on a deeper level, what behavior didn’t feel right. We knew that one person trying to control another didn’t sit right. We probably would condemn it if someone described abusive behavior, and we knew it was upsetting to everyone involved, but we didn’t know it was ‘abuse’.

I’ve had a friend that was physically abused. I’ve had multiple friends and family that were emotionally, and mentally, abused. In fact, I have also been emotionally and mentally abused at different times throughout my life.

My friends and family just thought that abusive person was mean, or controlling, or immature, which, to be fair, are all true.

I, personally, thought abuse was someone physically hitting you, calling you disgusting names, and keeping you from leaving the house. Those things definitely are abuse, but what about the woman that chooses not to leave her house, because that would make her partner go into a rage? To outsiders, it just looks like she’s antisocial, or too busy. What about the man who chooses to move out of state because his wife talked him into leaving his “toxic” family dynamics? That doesn’t look like abuse, but when you learn The Cycle of Abuse by Lenore Walker, you learn that those things could be a sign of deeper problems.

What Is the Cycle of Abuse?

The Cycle of Abuse was first outlined by psychologist, Lenore Walker. She noticed that abusive relationships followed a certain pattern.

Cycle of abuse with each cycle description.
Graphic created by Lori Booty in Canva

The cycle is predictable and recognizable. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years to go through the whole cycle. Each relationship is different.

The first phase is tension. During this phase, the victim can feel that the abuser is…

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Lori Moulton

Certified Transformational Coach, Masters in School Counseling, Teacher, helping others heal from emotionally abusive relationships and build self-love..