Am I Being Abused?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, income or educational level. It is a pattern of behaviors in which one person tries to maintain power and control over their intimate partner through manipulation, intimidation, threats, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse.
The spokes of the wheel make up the other aspects of an abusive relationship, also known as the “Red Flags” or warning signs of abuse. These tactics are more subtle and often happen concurrently and constantly (whereas physical and sexual violence tend to be more episodic). Furthermore, some of these tactics might lead up to physical and sexual violence.
The Power and Control Wheel was developed in the mid-1980s by the Duluth Project, and has been a staple education tool for domestic violence programs worldwide.
Realizing What Domestic Violence Looks Like:
Has someone in your life ever said something like:
“I only like it when it’s just you and me hanging out.”
“I don’t like your friends. Let’s not hang out with them.”
“It’s your fault that I’m yelling at you.”
“I never threatened you, stop lying.”
“You are my wife, so you will cook dinner every night.”
“I should slap you for talking to me like that.”
If someone in your life is attempting to control you, they might say these types of things to prove their own power. The following red flags are the most common warning signs of abuse, and they can help you recognize what you are going through.