University of Southern California

Intimate Partner Violence

The Power and Control Wheels

Power and control issues are at the core of intimate partner violence. There are a variety of ways in which a person who abuses uses power and control over their victim. Women and men who have been victims of intimate partner violence have shared with helping professionals the ways in which they have felt controlled by their abusers and the behaviors used against them.

These ways have been diagrammed in the Power and Control Wheel, a tool frequently used to illustrate the different dimensions of domestic violence. Here you will find several versions of this information, specific to different partnerships and victims, but all are based on the premise that the person who abuses is exerting power and control over her/his victim. The Equality Wheel is also included below, which lists the different facets of equality in a healthy relationship and offers examples of ways people who abuse can move towards healthy relationships.


Power and control hetero

power and control homo

power and contol teen

power and control immigrant

power and control equity