Power and Control Wheel - Understanding Abuse

This is a diagram that shows the different aspects of how a victim of abuse can have power and control used on them:

Source: www.duluth-model.org

Download Power and Control Wheel

Power and Control

Physical Violence Sexual

Using coercion and threats

  • making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
  • threatening to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare
  • making her drop charges
  • making her do illegal things

Using Intimidation

  • making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures
  • smashing things
  • destroying her property
  • abusing pets
  • displaying weapons

Using emotional abuse

  • putting her down
  • making her feel bad about herself
  • calling her names
  • making her think she’s crazy
  • playing mind games
  • humiliating her
  • making her feel guilty

Using isolation

  • controlling what she does. who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes
  • limiting her outside involvement
  • using jealousy to justify actions

Minimizing, denying and blaming

  • making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
  • saying the abuse didn’t happen
  • shifting responsibility for abusive behaviour
  • saying she caused it.

Using children

  • making her fell guilty about children
  • using the children to relay messages
  • using visitation to harass her
  • threatening to take the children away

Using male privilege

  • 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