The flywheel effect of intimate partner violence: A victim-perpetrator interactive spin

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Causal explanations of intimate partner violence (IPV) usually attempt to logically link past events and experiences to the present, in order to provide an etiological account. A different, less common perspective is that of a phenomenological, non-causal interpretation of IPV. Based on the criminal spin theory, the current paper presents the victim-perpetrator interactive spin (VPIS) model, constructed by four motives. The VPIS contributes the idea that both the victim and the perpetrator interact to further exacerbate a spin process. From this point of view, IPV can be seen as a chronic spin that traps perpetrator and victim in a vicious interaction that characterizes their relationship. In the absence of a crisis or external intervention, continued violence is perceived as the only option; hence, the interactive spin preserves itself and the violent flywheel effect remains in motion. Clinical and research implications are provided with suggestions for ending the violent spin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Battering
  • Criminal spin
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Phenomenology
  • Victimological spin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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