Power and Control Wheel

This wheel is a tool that focuses on how eight different types of abuser tactics partner with physical and sexual violence (or the threat of physical and sexual violence) to dominate a victim. The wheel is made up of these component parts:

  • Physical and Sexual Violence (outer ring)
  • Using Intimidation- making partner afraid by using looks, actions or gestures. Smashing things. Destroying property. Abusing pet. Displaying Weapons
  • Using Emotional Abuse- Putting partner down. Making them feel bad about themselves. Calling them names. Making them think they are crazy. Playing mind games. Humiliating them. Making them feel guilty
  • Using Isolation- Controlling what they do, who they see and talk to. What they read. Where they go. Limiting their outside involvement. Using jealousy to justify actions.
  • Minimizing, Denying and Blaming-making light of the abuse and not taking their concerns about it seriously. Saying the abuse didn’t happen. Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior. Saying the victim caused it.
  • Using Children- making partner feel guilty about the children. Using the children to relay messages. Using visitation to harass victim. Threating to take the children away.
  • Using Male Privilege-treating partner like a servant. Making all the big decisions. Acting like the “master of the castle”. Being the one to define men’s and women’s roles.
  • Using Economic Abuse-Preventing partner from getting or keeping a job. Making them ask for money. Giving them an allowance. Taking their money. Not letting them know about or have access to family income.
  • Using Coercion and Threats-Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt them. Threating to leave them, to commit suicide or report them to welfare. Making them drop legal charges. Making them do illegal things