Domestic Violence Charges
The Tragic Cycle of Domestic Violence. As a Maine criminal defense attorney, Richard S. Berne has first-hand experience with the tragedy that is domestic violence. Based upon related studies, volatile relationships follow a cycle that can begin and complete in less than 24 hours, or continue over a period of weeks or months. Given the unique nature of relationships, circumstances are likely to dictate the length of the phase of violence.
Tension Building. Tension may build over common domestic issues, such as arguing over the children, money, finding the remote, or one partner’s job. The stage usually begins with verbal abuse. When the victim sees things getting out of control, they try to assuage the situation by backtracking and pleasing the abuser, in an effort to avoid abuse. But, this rarely prevents violence because tensions have already reached a breaking point.
Acute Battering Episodes. When relationship tension peaks, physical violence may take over, often triggered by an external event or the abuser’s emotional state (though they often use the victim’s behavior as the trigger). The start of the phase can be unexpected and out of the victim’s control.
Honeymoon Phase. This is the final stage of the cycle. The abuser is ashamed, remorseful, and apologetic. They attempt to downplay the violence, even blaming it on the victim. They will be loving, and generous to the victim. This behavior implies that their bond is strong and actually convinces the victim – once again – that their relationship is normal and necessary. For many, the promise of this stage gives each party false hope, providing a reason to stay together.
The cycle of domestic violence is continuous and unsettling. As a Maine criminal defense lawyer, Richard S. Berne has witnessed too many relationships stuck in this cycle, yet he continues to do his best, in and out of the courtroom, defending the charged party and offering counsel on domestic violence hotlines, programs, support groups, and other resources available in the community at large.