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During this stage the abuser may feel or claim to feel overwhelming remorse and sadness.
During this phase (which is often considered an element of the honeymoon/reconciliation phase), the relationship is relatively calm and peaceable.
During this period the abuser may agree to engage in counseling, ask for forgiveness, and create a normal atmosphere.
These lead up to the assault by acting out the revenge plan, self-destructive behavior, victim grooming and the actual physical and/or sexual assault.
This is followed by a sense of relief, fear of consequences, distraction, and rationalization of abuse.
The victim feels pain, fear, humiliation, disrespect, confusion, and may mistakenly feel responsible.
Characterized by affection, apology, or, alternatively, ignoring the incident, this phase marks an apparent end of violence, with assurances that it will never happen again, or that the abuser will do their best to change.
Donald Dutton and Susan Golant agree that Walker's cycle of abuse accurately describes all cyclically abusive relationships they studied.
Nonetheless, they also note that her initial research was based almost entirely on anecdotal data from a rather small set of women who were in violent relationships.
Or, to get the abuse over with, prepare for the violence or lessen the degree of injury, the victim may provoke the batterer.
"However, at no time is the batterer justified in engaging in violent or abusive behavior," said Scott Allen Johnson, author of Physical Abusers and Sexual Offenders.