Abuse is never a one-time event.
Physical abuse is only one part of the scheme of abusive behaviors. Most often, by the time a victim of domestic violence experiences physical threat or abuse, they undoubtedly have also experienced several other forms of abuse or tactics used by an abuser to achieve dominance. These include: intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, minimizing/blaming, using children, economic abuse, male privilege, and coercion/threats.
We use the “Power and Control Wheel” (which was developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN) to educate how physical or sexual abuse along with the use of any of the other tactics mentioned will result in the abuser having power and control over the victim. The use of physical or sexual abuse instills the most fear. Regular use of abusive behaviors when reinforced by one or more acts of physical violence, make up a larger system of abuse.
It is not uncommon for a victim to remain in denial or minimize the abuser’s behavior for various and layered reasons. By using this wheel to facilitate a conversation, our staff has the opportunity to shed light on what an abusive relationship looks like. When a victim becomes more aware and recognizes behaviors for what they are, s/he can begin the process of deciding whether, when, and how to safely leave and begin the process of healing.
To learn more about the Power and Control Wheel contact us or learn more at www.theduluthmodel.org/wheels/. For presentations about this topic and more, contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-847-8572.