As spousal violence has been deemed as one of the most common forms of violence within Canada, the attention arising from this act has become more predominant. Although many measures are being taken in order to decrease the number of victims, the number of cases reported continues at a constant rate. Throughout many forms of research this violent act has been proven to not only begin with recognizable actions, but rather through certain behaviours occurring in patterns. As the attention of spousal violence is more so directed to the female majority within society, it is essential to remember that there are multiple categories of individuals affected by this issue. Despite the individuals or definitions one associates with spousal violence, there is still a large issue that exists which needs to be recognized. The roots of domestic violence are able to stem from a variety of different stages and time periods within one’s life. These experiences are able to begin as early as childhood, where the individual may have experienced the issue of domestic violence within their own household. When experiencing abuse within the household at a young age, the use of violence is perceived to be an efficient way to control or maintain order and hierarchy within the family. As the child is not able to have the capacity to distinguish this action as necessarily right or wrong, they will carry this action with them into future relationships or encounters. The risk of domestic violence has also been proven to significantly increase whenever one experiences any major life changes. When major events occur such as conflict within the family or when a family member who has recently been diagnosed with an illness, the abuser may feel as though they are left out, therefore seeking control of a situation he or she feels is not their hands. As the abuser may attempt to reach out to another support system to deal with these changes, the person they seek help from is often another abuser. Once getting reassurance and ongoing support from an individual that has the same mindset, the abuser will continue on with these actions, often finding excuses to justify or worsen their behaviour. As the roots of domestic violence stem from a variety of different stages, the behaviour that stems from these events also occurs in a cycle. The first phase of the cycle begins with the recognizable and distinguishable abuse. One’s partner will begin to lash out with violent behaviours and actions, therefore attempting to prove that the power they possess exemplifies complete control. The second phase of the cycle is where the guilt factor begins. After the abuse comes to a halt, the abuser will often feel sorry or concerned not so much for their partner, but more so for the consequences of their actions. This is the stage of confusion for most partner’s, as they often struggle to determine if their partner’s guilt is genuine due to the behaviour they have just seen. Most partners struggle to realize that this phase is not geared towards them, but rather the outcome of what the abuser has just done. The third phase in this cycle continues with a sequence of excuses. Excuses are typically used to try and compensate for what the abuser has just done. During this phase the tables will often turn and the abuser will blame the victim for the degree of his or her behaviour. Once the abuser’s partner has been blamed, this is usually the time when parts of the relationship take a step back. The abuser begins to exemplify normal behaviour once again, in order to gain the trust and control of their partner in a different way. At this phase the opposing party to the abuser feels as though a change for the better is upon them. The hope of the victim is now increased once more, but will soon be disappointed fairly sooner than expected. One of the last phases continues with fantasy and planning. At this point in time the abuser will begin to create ideas within his mind once more as to how his or her abusive actions should be carried out. The abuser begins to create a list of things that their partner has done wrong, despite them even being the smallest imperfections or simply accidents. As all of these aspects begin to build up, the abuser begins to plan for his or her fantasies in to become reality in the final phase. The final stage concludes the cycle with the set-up. The set-up phase is where the abuser’s actions are not only carried out after being carefully planned, but the plan also puts their partner in a position to justify the abuser’s behaviour towards the victim. Similar to the excuses phase, the abuser is able to put the blame on their partner once more. After the cycle ends it continues to repeat in this sequence of events. The abuser’s partner often feels as though the predicament they are in is one they can not only refrain from getting out of, but if they do they will also feel a sense of guilt themselves. As many men and women stay in abusive relationships, the cycle gives a inside perspective as to why they do so. The cycle consists of hope rising and falling repeatedly, but also allows the victims to feel a sense of guilt. When the final phase of the cycle takes place, just before it begins again the abuser often apologizes and convinces their partner to stay using convincing words and gestures, often making it that much more difficult for their partner to leave. As much as the cycle of domestic violence affects the partner of the abuser, it affects the family of both parties significantly as well. As previously mentioned the effects in the family typically go unnoticed if there are children within the home. The children will begin to see this behaviour as normal, therefore continuing these behaviours on within their own lives. If the child or children of the abuser are at the age where it is visible that these actions are not right, they may try to intervene. At this stage, there is no controlling what the abuser may do, therefore putting the whole family at risk for harm. As individuals in a family have been affected by domestic violence either personally or as something they have just witnessed, this does not mean they will speak out. After seeing what was done to a victim in their home, they may fear for the consequences that they will face themselves, therefore leading to a life of secrecy. Secrecy within the family now becomes the major cause of restricted contact with other family members. The abuse may feel as though family members outside of his or her control may interfere with the power he or she has over the individuals living within their household. As secrecy and an overall disconnect between family members becomes evident, the overall composition of the family begins to decrease, as outside members have now been affected by this issue.