VAW Social Change Resource Center

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Power and Control Tools












The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth Minnesota offers a series of tools to explain battering as an issue of power and control.  The Power and Control Wheel was built by battered women in Duluth trying to describe their own experience with battering

      Each woman may find some tactics in common with the Duluth women, but the Wheel was never meant to list every possible behavior a batterer might use.  Each woman may want to highlight different behaviors used by their batterer to create power in her relationship. 

We encourage advocates to use partially blank wheels that allow women to explore the ways they experience battering.

      Women have worked together to adapt the Wheel to reflect their truth.  There are at least 25 adaptations of the Wheel.  These adaptations also offer visions of healthy relationships.  Together these different wheels show us the many faces of power and control in our lives. 

We encourage women to

build their own adaptation of the wheel!




 These web pages include materials based on the Duluth Power and Control

Model and a paper from a study of the DAIP conducted by Lucille Pope. 


Pence, E. (1987).  In our best interest: A process for personal and social change.  Duluth: Minnesota Program Development, Inc.

Social Change Resource Center © 2007,  Afterwords, Inc.




             Bridging the Work of Social Change and Systems Reform

Lucille Pope and Kathleen Ferraro discuss proactive feminist communities and how Duluth has developed political strategies that bridge social change with systems reform work.  2006


             Building Bridges to Women’s Experience

How the DAIP in Duluth continues to place women’s lives at the center of their philosophy and

practice.  Lucille Pope and Kathleen Ferraro, 2006.


             Considerations When Adapting the Power and Control Wheel

For facilitators working with groups adapting the Wheel to describe their own experience. 

Outlines a process and discussion items.  Lucille Pope and Kathleen Ferraro, 2006         


              Power and Control:  Understanding Domestic Abuse in Later Life

Bonnie Brandl explains the difference between caregiver stress versus power and control as

the basis for elder abuse.  National Center for Abuse in Later Life


The Duluth Power and Control Model

Overview of power and control wheel, control log, definitions, impact on women, and visions

of social change from study of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth.  Lucille Pope

and Kathleen Ferraro, 2006.


Theoretic Assumptions of the Duluth Power and Control Model

Lucille Pope and Kathleen Ferraro discuss hierarchy, oppression, dichotomous thought, male

privilege, power, and cultural factors used in Duluth explanations of violence against women.  2006



Introduction to Social Change

Reflections on Social Change

  Cultural Supports

  Oppression & Privilege

  Questions of Research


Strategies for Action

  Activist Writings



Domestic Violence


  Power & Control Tools

The battered women’s movement has, since its earliest days, identified battering not as an individual woman’s problem, but as a societal problem linked to the oppression of all women in our society …. We understood from the earliest days of the movement that women were trapped in violent relationships not because they had poor self-images or were in some way defective, but because of an economic system and a community that over and over again reinforced batterers’ power over women. Pence, 1987, p. 5


Power and Control Wheels

             Power and Control Wheel

             Power and Control Wheel (Original)

                               Poder Y Control Wheel



             Abuse of Children

             Abuse in Later Life Wheel

             Abuse of People with Developmental Disabilities by a Caregiver

             Blank Wheel

             Culture Wheel

             Deaf Power and Control Wheel

             Muslim Wheel of Domestic Violence

             Police Power and Control Wheel

             Power and Control in Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual


             Power and Control Tactics Used Against Immigrant Women

             Relationship of Sexism to Other Oppressions


Equality Wheels





             Nurturing Children


Native American Wheels

             Creator Wheel

             Mending the Sacred Hoop Symbol

             Unnatural Power and Control