Power and Control Wheel

Dating violence is based on one person believing that they have the right to have power and control over their partner. Similar to the various types of abuse, there are many different tactics that someone might use to try to gain and maintain power and control in an abusive relationship.

The Power and Control Wheel is a diagram that helps explain what occurs in abusive relationships.

The words ‘power’ and ‘control’ are in the center of the Power and Control Wheel. The center of the wheel is surrounded by the different behaviors an abusive partner may use. We often don’t recognize these behaviors in our relationships because they are often subtle and can feel normal; however, all of these behaviors are considered abusive. These behaviors are: peer pressure, emotional abuse, using social status, intimidation, minimize/deny/blame, threats, sexual coercion, and isolation.

The outer ring represents physical, visible violence that may occur in abusive relationships. These are the behaviors that are often more obvious and reinforce the tactics found inside the wheel.

Take a spin around the wheel to learn more about each abusive behavior.


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