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Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

In Domestic Violence by Elizabeth Stephenson

The National Domestic Violence Hotline uses the “Power and Control Wheel” to describe what happens over the course of a domestic violence relationship. This includes a partner’s assertion of power and control over another person using intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, “minimizing, denying, and blaming”, children, male privilege, economic abuse, and “coercion and threats”. While these concepts are easy to understand on paper, it can be surprisingly difficult to recognize the signs of domestic violence while you are living it. This is particularly true early in a relationship, when the joy and happiness of new love makes it easy to overlook potential problems. Further, abusers will “test the waters” with their violent or controlling behavior early in the relationship in order to condition their partners for the escalation to come. It …