Power and Control Wheel
Physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them, are the
most apparent forms of domestic violence and are usually
the actions that allow others to become aware of the problem. However, regular use of other abusive behaviors by the
batterer, when reinforced by one or more acts of physical violence, make up a larger system of abuse. Although physical assaults may occur only once or occasionally, they instill threat of future violent attacks and allow the abuser to take control of the woman’s life and circumstances.
The Power & Control diagram is a particularly helpful tool in
understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are
used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over his partner. Very
often, one or more violent
incidents are accompanied by an array of these other types of abuse. They are less easily identified, yet firmly establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.