(Benchmarked from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them, are the most apparent forms of domestic violence and are usually the actions that allow others to become aware of the problem. However, regular use of other abusive behaviors by the accused, when reinforced by one or more acts of physical violence, make up a larger system of abuse. Although physical assaults may occur only once or occasionally, they instill threat of future violent attacks and allow the abuser to take control of the victim/survivor’s life and circumstances.
The Power and Control diagram is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by an accused to establish and maintain control over his or her partner. Very often, one or more violent incidents are accompanied by an array of these other types of abuse. They are less easily identified, yet firmly establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.