Power and Control

th-10The Power and Control Wheel/Model of Domestic Violence

The Power & Control wheel created by the Duluth Project in Duluth Minnesota is a helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by an abusive partner to establish and maintain control over his partner/victim. Very often, one or more violent incidents are accompanied by an array of these and often other types of abuse. They are less easily identified, yet firmly establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.

 Using intimidation: making him/her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures, smashing things, destroying his/her property, abusing pets, displaying weapons.

Using emotional abuse: putting her down, making her feel bad about him/herself, calling him/her names, making him/her think s/he’s crazy, playing mind games, humiliating her, making him/her feel guilty.

Using isolation: controlling what s/he does, who s/he sees and talks to, what s/he reads, where s/he goes, limiting his or her outside involvement, using jealousy to justify actions.

Minimizing, denying, and blaming: making light of the abuse and not taking his/her concerns about it seriously, saying the abuse didn’t happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior, saying s/he caused it.

Using children: making him/her feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay messages, using visitation to harass him/her, threatening to take children away.

Using male privilege (when the victim is female): treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the “master of the castle”, being the one to define men’s and women’s roles.

Using economic abuse: preventing her from getting or keeping a job, making her ask for money, giving her an allowance, taking her money, not letting her know about or have access to family income.

Using coercion and threats: making and/or carrying out threats to hurt him/her, threatening to leave her, to commit suicide, to report him her to welfare , making her drop charges, forcing him/her do illegal things.

This information is from the Duluth Domestic Violence Model (Duluth, Minnesota)