What is domestic violence?
Are you in an abusive relationship? Possibly, you’ve heard this before, “We’re not perfect, but it’s not domestic violence. Every couple fights, right?” Many people don’t know what domestic violence is, until they are in too deep. We’ve explained it in one of our previous blog posts, but will go in depth here. Domestic Violence is: Power & Control. While someone may get angry and abuse you, the driving force isn’t anger, but rather, their desire to have power and control over you. Many people feel that domestic violence has to be physical, but not necessarily so. Domestic Violence is a combination of one or more different types of abuse. The Duluth Model introduced their Power & Control wheel in the 1980s to illustrate what domestic violence is composed of. The wheel was created by survivors.
As you can see, domestic violence can be emotional, physical, verbal, financial, sexual, and include using children and hurting animals (pets). Many abusers, may use one or more, if not all of these abusive tactics to control and dominate their victims. Just one of these alone, demonstrates if you or someone you know is in an unhealthy/abusive relationship.
Ellen Pence, the co-creator of the wheel explains how the wheel came about and shares a bit about its history. If you or someone you know thinks they are in an abusive relationship, refer to this wheel. Remember, no relationship is perfect, but no relationship should include any form of abuse. Love is not abuse.