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Why does Domestic Violence happen?

Emmaus House

Domestic Violence occurs because of an imbalance of power and control in a relationship.

Although physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them, are the most obvious forms of domestic violence, there are many other forms of abuse that batterers utilize to maintain power and control. The regular use of such tactics, which can be reinforced by one or more acts of physical violence, make up a larger system of abuse. Non-physical forms of abuse are less easily identified, but unquestionably establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.

The Power & Control Wheel diagram shown below is a helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive behaviors used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over a partner.

Click Here to view a larger image of the Power and Control Wheel diagram. The larger image is in PDF format, and will be presented in another window.