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The Power and Control Wheel

Knowing the tactics

Abused women and girls identify one or more tactics used by their abuser to gain and maintain power and control over them. The tactics can be subtle or more obvious. Some women experience one tactic while others experience several. Whether experiencing one tactic or many, all tactics are destructive and traumatizing.

If you answer yes to even one of the following questions, you may be experiencing abuse and may wish to speak to an Advocate/Counsellor at the London Abused Women’s Centre:

  • Are you afraid of your partner/harasser/pimp/trafficker?
  • Do you regularly change your behaviour, opinions or choices due to fear of consequences or reprisals from your (ex) partner/harasser/pimp/trafficker?
  • Does your partner/harasser/pimp/trafficker or anyone else force or coerce you into unwanted activities?
  • Are you being hurt or harassed by a trafficker or sex purchaser?
  • Do you give up seeing your friends, family and/or leave your job or activities because your partner/harasser/pimp/trafficker doesn’t like them?
  • Do you stay with your same-sex partner because she has threatened to out you?
  • Are you told that you must work as an escort or in a strip club to pay off debt your partner/pimp/trafficker says you owe him?
  • Has a sex purchaser physically assaulted, threatened you, and/or robbed you?

The Power and Control Wheel: Intimate Partner Abuse

The Power and Control Wheel is a visual tool that is useful in understanding how tactics of abuse are used by abusers to gain and maintain power and control over a woman or girl.

The Power and Control Wheel: Sex-Trafficking

The Power and Control Wheel is a visual tool that outlines the different types of abuse that can occur in labor and sex trafficking situations.

The Non-State Torture Wheel

When a private individual or group such as a parent, relative, partner, friend, guardian, human trafficker, pimp, john/punter, pornographer, or others known or unknown commit acts of non-State torture they are called non-State actors. The torture they commit is called non-State torture (NST) as it is inflicted in private or domestic places.