Power and Control Wheel
Power and Control - The Center of Intimate Partner Domestic Violence
The Power and Control Wheel was created in 1984 by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP). They worked with focus groups of women who were victims of intimate partner domestic violence to document the most common abusive behaviors. These behaviors are listed in the Power and Control Wheel.
The original Power and Control Wheel was not gender-inclusive. The focus groups were created only of women who were in physically abusive relationships. As such, the original wheel created by DAIP in Duluth, MI represented the heart-wrenching stories told by these brave women.
Its intent was not to give a complete understanding of intimate partner domestic violence, but a deeper understanding of how men who abuse their partners use various tactics to eventually establish power and control.
Since then, the wheel has been adapted by many groups including SAVE: Stop Abusive and Violent Environments in Rockville, MD. They adapted the wheel to be gender-inclusive to illustrate the pattern of abusive behavior.
In order to gain Power and Control, abusers use tactics like:
Minimizing, denying, and blaming
Coercion and threats
The abuser systematically uses these tactics that create the spokes of the wheel. These methods ultimately ensure that abuser has Power and Control - thus it is listed at the center of the wheel.
The physical abuse of women by men remains a societal and cultural issue. The vast majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against their partner.
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