Understanding Violence

Defining Violence

The Justice Department of Aotearoa New Zealand describes Domestic Violence as “An abuse of Human Rights”. They go on to describe domestic violence as:

Physical Abuse:

Nobody – including a husband, wife, partner or an adult who looks after children, is allowed to hit, punch, kick or in any way assault another person.

Sexual Abuse:

Nobody is allowed to have any sexual contact with another person without that person’s permission.

Psychological Abuse:

Can include intimidation, threats and harassment. Some examples of psychological abuse could include damaging property, allowing children to see or hear any domestic violence, controlling someone’s contact with friends as a way of having power over him or her.

(The Family Court, “Domestic Violence, Information on Protection Orders and the Domestic Violence Act” Brochure).

In the 1980s, various women’s support groups at the Duluth Violence Intervention Project developed a model called the Power and Control Wheel. This was made up from stories that women were telling over and over again of the abuse that was going on in their homes.