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Home > What is Abuse? > Power and Control

Power and Control:

The Duluth Model is a graphic representation of two instances in relationships: (1) the characteristics found in abusive relationships represented in the Power and Control Wheel and (2) the characteristics of a respect-based relationship represented in the Equality Wheel.

Power and Control Wheel:

Power and Control Wheel is a visual representation of an abusive relationship that is based on the power that the abuser uses over the victim to maintain control. First, the abuser may use some of the methods in the inside of the wheel such as intimidation; emotional abuse; isolation; minimizing, denial, and blaming; using the children; male privilege; economic abuse, and coercion and threats. If these methods do not ensure the abuser’s needs for power and control over the victim, the abuser may resort to physical and/or sexual violence as shown in the outside of the wheel.

Equality Wheel:

Equality Wheel is a visual representation of a healthy relationship. The partners want equality (center of the wheel). To obtain or maintain equality in their relationship both partners use the inside characteristics of the wheel (non-threatening behavior, respect, trust and support, honesty an accountability, responsible parenting, shared responsibility, economic partnership, negotiation and fairness). Equality between partners results in a respectful, nonviolent relationship.

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