Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.


Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.


Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

Think of the wheel as a diagram of the tactics an abusive partner uses to keep their victim in the relationship. While the inside of the wheel is comprised of subtle, continual behaviors, the outer ring represents physical, visible violence. These are the abusive acts that are more overt and forceful, and often the intense acts that reinforce the regular use of other more subtle methods of abuse.

POWER & CONTROL WHEEL

*Although this Power & Control Wheel uses she/her pronouns for the victim and assumes a male perpetrator, abuse can happen to people of any gender in any type of relationship.

Power and Control Wheel

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partner.

Some of the signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:

    Tells you that you can never do anything right
    Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away
    Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members
    Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs
    Controls every penny spent in the household
    Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses
    Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you
    Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do
    Prevents you from making your own decisions
    Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children
    Prevents you from working or attending school
    Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets
    Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons
    Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
    Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol

Taking prevention measures is one way of assuring possible safety for your teens. Below is provided a list of actions to consider.

1. Invest in the "Let's Talk About Boyz Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Series for Teen Girls 14 session series. This series educates and provides helpful applications regarding all forms of domestic violence and human/sex trafficking prevention.

2. Consider taking self-defense classes

3. Regardless of where you go consider taking a friend or love one. More options are available in the series above.

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