Domestic violence is about power and control. Domestic violence is NEVER the victim's fault! Use of violence in an intimate relationship is always a choice.
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behaviors. Abusive people attempt to have power over and control of another person. Domestic violence is not just hitting, slapping, or killing. It can also be verbal, sexual, financial, spiritual, and psychological. Victims are often isolated by their abusive partners, and not allowed to visit with friends, family, or neighbors (Arizona Department of Health Services).
If you're in an abusive situation, you may recognize this pattern:
The violence may become more frequent and severe over time or may be related to situations such as financial difficulties or substance abuse.
It’s About Power and Control
This wheel represents a snapshot of what a violent relationship looks like. While it doesn't cover every survivor's experience, it does portray the most common tactics abusers use against their partners.
The center, or hub, of the wheel is "Power and Control." This is at the very heart of this wheel because power and control are the reasons abusers choose to use violence and other tactics against their partners. They want complete power over and control of their partners.
In order to get that power and control, most abusers start out very slyly using the various tactics - or spokes - of the wheel, but usually increase their use of them over time. These include anger/emotional abuse, using social status, intimidation, minimize/deny/blame, threats, sexual coercion, isolation/exclusion and peer pressure.
The outer rim of the wheel is physical violence as violent acts or the threat of violent acts are what abusers use to get and keep their power and control over their partners.