Cycle of Violence imageSmart educated women cannot become victims of domestic violence.

Denise is breaking a sweat as she quickly piles on the thick crayon concealer, in circles around her entire eye. Most mornings, she just blends a few dots of it under her eyes to brighten up from a terrible evening, which led to a restless sleep. But today she is trying to hide the most frightening evening she had ever experienced in their marriage. She is running late, and she cannot be late for her very own project management meeting! Frantically she hides her legs in dark mocha leotards and jumps into her Dior suit, careful to pull her sleeves down as far as they will go. But that’s not going to fool anyone. The scrape down her arm extends to her wrist, so she reaches for her trusty watch with the very wide snakeskin band.

On her way home, the traffic is thick and at a standstill, so she rummages around the glove compartment, then the backseat of her Lincoln MKS, and finds her music that she had hidden from him. Italian overtures make her anxiety attacks during every drive home, almost bearable. He hates classical music and would not allow her to buy any, but she had managed to hide her bonus cheque from him.

Surrounded by Mozart, Denise allows herself to imagine her life as a single, well-employed, and attractive woman. Deep down, she really does know how attractive she is, in spite of his constant criticism about her appearance. An hour a day in their home gym and faithful allegiance to the best skin care products, could not transform her into the arm-candy that he desired. So it was her fault that he had to stray.

And she is aware of how brilliant she is – they bought her campaign today! If he did not demand that she come directly home after each workday, she would have joined her team for a well-deserved dinner celebration. She had spent almost every waking moment, over the last eight months, perfecting her work. Even through the tension building stage, Denise had managed to create her first draft, while simultaneously preparing his favourite dinners in an effort to keep him calm. But by the time she had pitched her first proposal, she could feel his hostility towards her escalating at home, and so she had tread softly in terror, trying to ward off the inevitable violent explosion that had occurred last night. The hefty paycheque that he would force her to sign over to him from a successful campaign, was not enough to save her.

Somehow she had survived. She knows that when she walks through her front door tonight, she will be met by a contrite, charming man holding roses, or a silent stare meant to instill guilt in her for causing him to become so uncontrollably violent.

But this time, she is determined to not go along with the honeymoon stage. A period of false domestic bliss. In the past, it was a stage that had allowed her to believe that their marriage was like everyone else’s, built on a sacred union, witnessed by family and friends in a beautiful fairy tale ceremony. She firmly tells herself that she has suffered this cycle far too many times. This time, she will not be grateful for the quiet evenings before the tension starts building again.

Crisis Intervention Counselor