Power and Control Break free from abuse.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control. At The Hotline, our frame of reference for describing abuse is the Power and Control Wheel developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN. In the diagram below, the Power and Control Wheel assumes she/her pronouns for the victim and he/him pronouns for the perpetrator, but the abusive behavior that it details can happen to people of any gender or sexuality.

The wheel serves as a diagram of tactics that an abusive partner uses to keep their victims in a relationship. The inside of the wheel is made up of subtle, continual behaviors over time, while the outer ring represents physical and sexual violence. Abusive actions like those depicted in the outer ring often reinforce the regular use of other, more subtle methods found in the inner ring.

 

Copyright by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
202 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN, 55802
218-722-2781

The complexities of relationship abuse can never be summarized completely in a single diagram, but the Power and Control Wheel presents a useful lens through which to examine domestic violence. Learn more about the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project.