Types And Cycle Of Abuse In Adults  

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Abuse is a term that covers different ways in which someone can harm a vulnerable adult physically or emotionally. It can be in various forms; physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, or exploitation. Physical abuse is intentional harm to a person over 18 years and can result in injuries. Other forms of abuse, like sexual, may not show physical signs, but if intercourse happens without the other party’s consent, it’s abuse.

Mental mistreatment can lead to emotional distress, characterized by coercion, harassment, isolation, ridiculing, or treating an adult like a child. People can also abuse others financially by illegally using the victim’s money for their gain. Neglecting adults who need care deprives them of their entire life and can lead to physical or emotional harm.

The cycle of abuse

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The cycle of abuse follows a path before manifestation because the perpetrator appears charming and loving to the victim. This way, when they turn against the victim, it is a shock because the perpetrator passed as loving.

A partner or spouse who controls your movement and alienates you from your family is an abuser. At the end of the cycle, he will verbally abuse you and then beat you. Domestic violence is common, and ⅓ of American women have experienced the vice in their lifetime. Let’s dive in to learn the cycle of abuse in adults.


It may come as a surprise after your charming and loving partner becomes abusive. The abuser will make the victim feel like they’re in control of the relationship. After she’s confident as the dominant partner, he strikes with a series of abusive actions. But before it all goes south, he’ll make her feel like she’s all he’s ever wanted, giving her power and a sense of belonging.


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After the comfort of being the best thing in your spouse’s life, he’ll move to isolate you from friends and family. The action happens seamlessly, and the victim will not realize it’s happening. The term “the world against u” can describe the situation perfectly.

A victim will have no friends, nor will they visit family members as before. At this point, love is imminent, and it rules. He demands all her time and wants to accompany her everywhere she goes. In addition, she must ask for permission to go out or visit her family. However, unknown to her, the abuse begins when she’s isolated enough.

Tension build-up

The abuser might threaten the victim with violence to see how she reacts and instill fear. Verbal abuse begins, and because the victim wants to please her charming, loving man, she will apologize. A victim walks on eggshells to avoid making the abuser mad and will do anything to please him. Now the abuse escalates, and she can’t talk to anyone because her ride or die is the abuser.

Physical abuse

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Eventually, physical abuse kicks in, and the abuser blames the victim for making him mad. They make the victim believe that their behavior caused the outburst, resulting in abuse. However, the abuse is out of hand, and she can’t control it even with her ‘good’ behavior. Something will set him off as tension builds up and a full-blown abusive episode happens.

Honeymoon phase

After an abusive episode, the abuser minimizes the mean acts by apologizing and convincing the victim it will never happen again. He brings back his loving and kind personality while convincing the victim it was a mistake that was not to be repeated. He appears to be making an effort until the cycle repeats.

When in a domestic violence cycle, the victim may not realize it, and it becomes hard to get out. Ultimately, the situation might escalate and turn fatal if the victim isn’t rescued. People outside the cycle wonder why the victim isn’t leaving the abusive union, but are trapped and hopeless.

Restraining orders against an abusive partner

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Abusive persons can display the best behavior in society yet turn into monsters in the confines of their homes. If the victim manages to leave, they can file for a protection from abuse order. Although Protection From Abuse (PFA) might vary from state to state, a judge can order one or more of the following actions.

  • Cease abuse – An order issued to the abuser to stop hurting or threatening the victim.
  • Keep off – Most states can instruct the abuser to stay away from the victim; at home, school, workplace, or school.
  • No contact is prohibited; by telephone, notes, text messages, gifts, or mail.
  • Support – The abuser is ordered to pay for child support or a mortgage to a co-owned property.
  • Exclusive use – The victim is awarded sole use of a home or car owned by both.
  • Restitution – If the abuser causes physical harm, they’re forced to pay for medical bills or property damage.
  • Relinquish firearms – Some states will order the abuser to surrender any guns and ammunition they own.
  • Treatment – The abuser is ordered to attend a treatment program, test for drug use, or start counseling for drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Custody or child visitation – If children are involved, the court will decide who to take care of them to ensure they’re safe. The court can order the abuser to stay away and not make contact with the children. Other courts can allow for temporary custody or visitation, depending on the state or gravity of the abuse.

What happens when an abuser violates a restraining order?

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A restraining order is to be obeyed at all times and costs. However, if the abuser violates the court directives, the victim can ask the police or court to enforce it. Once the victim reports to the police about the violation of a restraining order, they’ll investigate to determine the offense. However, even without investigation, the police can enforce the stay away, no contact, exclusive use, cease abuse, custody provisions, or any other order that needs immediate action.

Some order violations can’t be enforced by the police, like failure to pay support or treatment costs. Depending on the jurisdiction’s laws on order violation, the penalty might be finding contempt which can be punished by fine, jailing, or both. Violation of an order can also be a reason enough for extension or modification to keep off the abuser.


Abuse or exploitation is the intentional mistreatment of an adult. It can be in different forms; mental, emotional, physical, or property damage and can cause harm to the victim. Mistreatment can happen to anyone of any age, culture, gender, or religion. If you have reason to believe or suspect someone is undergoing abuse or neglect, contact the police or relevant authorities to rescue them.