The Good, The Bad, & The Cycle

Violence Wheel

This wheel helps link the different behaviors that together form a pattern of violence.  It shows the relationship as a whole – and how each seemingly unrelated behavior is an important part in an overall effort to control someone.

Violence Wheel
Adapted from the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project – Duluth, Minnesota

 Cycle of Domestic Violence

 Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, isolation, etc., to coerce and to control the other person.  The violence may not happen often, but it remains as a hidden (and constant) terrorizing factor (Common Purpose, Inc. Jamaica Plain, MA).Cycle of Domestic Violence TENSION-BUILDING

criticism,yelling,swearing,using angry gestures, coercion, threats


physical and sexual attacks and threats


apologies, blaming, promises to change, gifts


These three dynamics keep the cycle in motion and make it hard to end a violent relationship.

Love for your partner, the relationship has its good points, it’s not all bad

Hope that it will change, the relationship didn’t begin like this

Fear that the threats to kill you or your family will become a reality

Adapted from Dr. Lenore Walker’s “Cycle of Violence” – Denver, Colorado

Non-Violence Wheel

The Non-Violence Wheel offers a view of a relationship that is based on equality and non-violence.  Use this chart to compare the characteristics of a non-violent relationship to those of an abusive relationship (see Violence Wheel above).  The Non-Violence Wheel is also helpful in setting goals and boundaries in personal relationships.

Non-Violence Wheel
Adapted from the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project – Duluth, Minnesota

Click on “Domestic Violence:  The Facts” for an information handbook (.pdf) created by Peace at Home.

September 19, 2012 | Comments Closed