Many women in abusive relationships see the abuse they endure as single incidents rather than a series of incidents forming a pattern, when in fact, an abusive relationship is typically characterized by a predictable cycle. Living within this cycle of an abusive relationship will extremely deteriorate self-esteem and self-worth. The cycle of violence will occur many times in a relationship and an abuser can take from a few hours to a year or more to move through the phases. The cycle of violence will continue throughout the relationship until there is a decision for one individual to change the composition of the relationship. The woman usually is the individual that decides to change by ending the relationship. Please see below for a diagram on the Cycle of Violence.