Domestic Violence: a Power and Control Perspective Wheel

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. In other word it is when one partner portrays certain actions whether that be physically striking or abuse langue to maintain power and control over another partner in a relationship. In cases where that relationship intimate it is often called intimate partner violence. This violence can come in many forms and each can leave lasting scars both physical and emotional.

Domestic violence is a compounded term used to describe abuse behaviors. These behaviors can be physically hitting or striking a partner or emotionally hurting their partner. The National Domestic Violence hotline uses a diagram known as the power and control wheel to explain the different types of abuse and torment.

The use of intimidation is a method of domestic violence used to maintain and keep control. One partner may make the other afraid by the use of actions, looks, or gestures. The abusing party may also use this as a way to display his or her as superior. Signs of this could be the destroying of property, abusing pets or children and the brandishing of weapons.

Emotional and psychological abuse is another way that domestic violence can be displayed. This can be displayed in number of ways from name calling and humiliation to simply making someone feel guilty for certain actions. Emotional abuse is less noticed than physical abuse because of the lack of visible scars but it is just as real. Power and control is the reasoning behind this type of behavior. One partner feels the need to make themselves seem more superior so they use these actions such as isolation to keep the other partner at bay and under their influence. By controlling what their partner does, goes, and sees the abuser can center themselves at the root of their partner’s lives.

Stalking is also considered a type of domestic violence. Although the perpetrator may not be someone intimate in the victim’s life the main reasoning for stalking to exert control over their victim. Many rape cases start out with a form of stalking whether that be through social media or in person.

There was a time where this act was seen as justified and accepted. In the early patriarchal system we live in today it was the responsibility of the man of the house to control his family, wife included, with the use of any force needed. It was the norm for a man to whip and beat his partner or children to gain control over them and keep order in his household. It wasn’t until 1868 that there was regulation on the use of force that could be used by a man to control his wife. In the North Carolina case of State vs. Rhodes the Supreme Court ruled that a man has the right to whip his wife as long as the whip was no larger than a thumb, any larger and it was then considered abuse. Most states followed after this case.

Abuse and neglect in the household was once seen as a family issue and it was personal and private business. Law enforcement would rarely intervene in these maters because of the nature of the offense. It was the cultural norm and it was seen as none of law enforcements business. But in today’s society domestic violence is seen as one of the leading problems. In a 24-hour survey period in 2014, here in North Carolina, local and state domestic violence hotlines answered 637 calls, averaging more than 26 hotline calls every hour. In 2013 there were 108 domestic violence related homicides in North Carolina that is nearly two people per week.

People involved

Domestic violence is something that can happen to anyone, anywhere. You have cases of abuse victims being men and women. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey of 2010 stated that 45.3% of American Indian or Alaska Native men and almost 4 out of every 10 Black and multiracial non-Hispanic men in the U.S. reported experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. These rates are nearly twice the rate experienced by Hispanic and White non-Hispanic men

Even with the rising numbers of male victims women remain 85% of all domestic violence victims. In 2001 domestic violence made up 20% of violent crimes against women.

With the rise in the gay pride movement and the legalization of gay marriage we began seeing more LGBT couples and began understanding them better. In Years past not much was known about the dynamics of LGBT relationships due to lack of knowledge and the fact that these types of crimes where seen as private personal matters.

In recent studies it has been found that gay or lesbian individuals have the same if not more likely hood of becoming victimized.

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