1. Tension building phase—Tension builds over common domestic issues like money, children or jobs. Verbal abuse begins. The victim tries to control the situation by pleasing the abuser, giving in or avoiding the abuse. None of these will stop the violence. Eventually, the tension reaches a boiling point and physical abuse begins.2. Acute battering episode—When the tension peaks, the physical violence begins. It is usually triggered by the presence of an external event or by the abuser's emotional state—but not by the victim's behavior. This means the start of the battering episode is unpredictable and beyond the victim's control. However, some experts believe that in some cases victims may unconsciously provoke the abuse so they can release the tension, and move on to the honeymoon phase.3. The honeymoon phase—First, the abuser is ashamed of his behavior. He expresses remorse, tries to minimize the abuse and might even blame it on the partner. He may then exhibit loving, kind behavior followed by apologies, generosity and helpfulness. He will genuinely attempt to convince the partner that the abuse will not happen again. This loving and contrite behavior strengthens the bond between the partners and will probably convince the victim, once again, that leaving the relationship is not necessary (domesticviolenceroundtable.org, 2012).
1. Their answers to the Abusive Behavior Inventory (see appendix) match closely.2. Past abuse was moderate to mild; currently, abuse is mild or absent.3. The couple can adhere to a contract of no further abuse.4. The abused partner is safe, unafraid, and able to mobilize resources if needed.5. Both partners are motivated for treatment out of a sincere desire to grow and change.6. Both partners are willing to be accountable for their behavior, without blaming the other.7. The couple can use basic communication skills in a non-manipulative manner.