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As Wikipedia describes:
The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship. Each phase may last a different length of time and over time the level of violence may increase.
It often refers to violent behavior learned as a child and then repeated as an adult, therefore continuing on in a perceived cycle.
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