Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Domestic violence is a relationship between intimate partners in which one individual seeks to assert power and control over the other. Recently, more same-sex partners and male victims of violence perpetrated by women are reporting their victimization. The abuser may use many different types of abuse to assert this power, and the overall framework in which the abuse occurs may follow a pattern called the cycle of violence.
Cycle of violence: Violent events may occur in a variety of patterns-the victim may experience ongoing, nonstop abuse, or the abuse may stop and start. One pattern of abuse often seen in a violent relationship begins with a tension-building phase, followed by the actual abusive act, and then a calm, making-up phase often called the honeymoon phase.
The tension-building phase includes increasing anger on the part of the abuser coupled with attempts by the person being abused to avoid violence. On the other hand, the victim may also attempt to bring on the violence to "get it over with."
The episode of acute abuse may include various forms of abuse and may occur for an indefinite amount of time.
The honeymoon phase that follows the abuse often includes both excuses for the abusive episode and expressions of love for the injured party. The abuser may deny the violence or blame his or her actions on their own drunkenness or the behavior or drunkenness of the victim. The abuser may promise that the abuse will never happen again.
Types of abuse: Domestic abuse is a broad term and involves physical, psychological, economic, and sexual abuse, as well as attempts to manipulate the victim through the use of his or her children. The abuser may also seek to isolate the victim from other people who may provide assistance.