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Power & Control

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence: Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, rich, poor, elderly, young, men and women, gay, lesbian, married and single. The majority of victims, over 85%, are women. Children who witness abuse are victims as well. Children living in a home where a loved one is abused are also more likely to receive mistreatment or neglect by the abuser.

Anyone can be an abuser. Approximately 97% of all abusers are men, although women can be perpetrators too. Abusers may appear to be good providers, loving partners and law-abiding citizens; but their abusive behavior can lead to severe injury and even to murder. Often the abuser will try to give reasons for or excuse violent behavior or blame the victim for causing it. There is no excuse for victimizing a partner or for violent behavior in an intimate relationship.

Power and Control Wheel

Abuse is never a one-time thing. The behaviors can usually be tracked in cycles.The power and control wheel below shows a pattern of actions an abuser uses to intentionally control or dominate his intimate partner. The words “power and control” are in the center of the wheel. A batterer uses threats, intimidation, and coercion to instill fear in his partner. These behaviors are the spokes of the wheel. Physical and sexual violence, used to reinforce the dynamic, is the rim of the wheel.

There are a number of tactics abusers use to get and keep control in relationships. Battering is one form of domestic or intimate partner violence. The person who uses any form of violence to control or manipulate a partner often has low self-esteem, may refuse to accept responsibility for the violence and may believe the violence is justified. 

Contact us for more information on power and control and domestic violence.


The Women's Coalition of St. Croix
P.O. Box 222734
Christiansted, VI 00822-2734

Telephone: (340) 773-9272
Facsimile: (340) 773-9062

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