What is Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence?

Power & Control Wheel

Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence is a pattern of physically, sexually and/or emotionally abusive behaviors used by one individual to maintain power over or to control a partner in the context of an intimate or family relationship.

Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.

Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are/were married, living together, or dating.

While abusers would like for us to believe that abuse is about stress or alcohol and other drugs, we know that abuse is really about power and the desire to control one’s partner. The Power & Control Wheel takes a deeper look at these behaviors and helps to identify some of the tactics used by abusers to maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Warning signs that you might be in an abusive relationship.

Does your partner:

  • Verbally insult, demean or threaten you?
  • Isolate you from friends, family or other people?
  • Organize scheduled to follow or harass you?
  • Limit your mobility or access to money?
  • Explode into a rage and assault you physically or sexually?
  • Negate your words, abilities, ideas and actions?
  • Choke, punch, slap, kick or otherwise hurt you?
  • Excuse each attack and promise to stop?

You are not alone, and you are not to blame.

Whether you need someone to talk to, information, support, or a safe place to stay, there are people at the Shelter for Help in Emergency who will listen and can help. People who will believe you, and who know that no one ever deserves to be abused. If you would like to speak with someone, please call our 24-hour hotline at (434) 293-8509.