Appendix: Turning the wheel

 
The 'Duluth Wheel' model introduced in Chapter 9 was deliberately rewritten in a gender-neutral form; but as you'll have noticed with the gender-neutral version of the ten 'principles' from the National Strategy on Violence Against Women in Chapter 10, that style tends to feel a little abstract and impersonal. The personal pronouns do matter: without them, it's easy to lose the person.

So the next four pages contain two gender-specific versions of the Wheel: one with a woman as 'the Other', and one with a man. Use these to explore, often, the ways in which you relate with women, and with men. Each time you find that your behaviour matches a description in the left-hand column, simply notice it, acknowledge it quietly and respectfully both to yourself and to 'the Other', and look for ways to move towards the behaviour described in the matching entry in the right-hand column. There is no blame here: only responsibility, and the power and mutual empowerment that comes from that responsibility.

Do remember that the Wheel only works as a tool explore your own behaviour - never that of others. You're welcome - in fact encouraged - to invite others to explore their behaviour in the same way: but to say to others, "look, the Wheel shows that you're doing this, and this, and this, so you have to do something about it" - especially without acknowledging and facing responsibility for what you do - is in fact an act of abuse, and will only make things worse.

It's also worthwhile to use the Wheel to explore your relationship with yourself, to look at the ways in which you treat yourself as 'the Other', and to find new ways to support your own empowerment. For example, if you realise from this that you often abuse yourself emotionally - putting yourself down, calling yourself names, humiliating yourself - it's a warning that you need to listen to yourself non-judgementally, to be more emotionally affirming and understanding of your feelings and fears, and to value the 'opinions' of your own inner knowing. As always with the Wheel, the power, and the responsibility, are yours alone.

Duluth Wheel: woman as 'Other'
Power and control (destructive)Equality (constructive)
Using coercion and threats
  • making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
  • threatening to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare
  • making her drop charges
  • making her do illegal things
Negotiation and fairness
  • seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict
  • accepting change
  • being willing to compromise
Using intimidation
  • making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures
  • smashing things
  • destroying her property
  • abusing pets
  • displaying weapons
Non-threatening behaviour
  • talking and acting so that she feels safe and comfortable expressing herself and doing things
Using economic abuse
  • preventing her from getting or keeping a job
  • making her ask for money
  • giving her an allowance
  • taking her money
  • not letting her know about or have access to family income
Economic partnership
  • making money decisions together
  • making sure both partners benefit from financial arrangements
Using emotional abuse

  • putting her down
  • making her feel bad about herself
  • calling her names
  • making her think she's crazy
  • playing mind-games
  • humiliating her
  • making her feel guilty
Respect
  • listening to her non-judgmentally
  • being emotionally affirming and understanding
  • valuing opinions
Using gender-privilege
  • treating her like a servant
  • making all the big decisions
  • acting like the 'owner of the house'
  • being the one to define male and female roles
Shared responsibility
  • mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work
  • making family decisions together
Using isolation
  • controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes
  • limiting her outside involvement
  • using jealousy to justify actions
Trust and support

  • supporting her goals in life
  • respecting her right to her own feelings, friends, activities and opinions
Using children
  • making her feel guilty about the children
  • using the children to relay messages
  • using visitation to harass her
  • threatening to take the children away
Responsible parenting

  • sharing parental responsibilities
  • being a positive non-violent role model for the children
Minimising, denying and blaming
  • making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
  • saying the abuse didn't happen
  • shifting responsibility for abusive behaviour
  • saying she caused it
Honesty and accountability
  • accepting responsibility for self
  • acknowledging past use of violence
  • admitting being wrong
  • communicating openly and truthfully


Duluth Wheel: man as 'Other'

Power and control (destructive)Equality (constructive)
Using coercion and threats
  • making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt him
  • threatening to leave him, to commit suicide, to report him to welfare
  • making him drop charges
  • making him do illegal things
Negotiation and fairness
  • seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict
  • accepting change
  • being willing to compromise
Using intimidation


  • making him afraid by using looks, actions, gestures
  • smashing things
  • destroying his property
  • abusing pets
  • displaying weapons
Non-threatening behaviour
  • talking and acting so that he feels safe and comfortable expressing himself and doing things
Using economic abuse
  • preventing him from getting or keeping a job
  • making him ask for money
  • giving him an allowance
  • taking his money
  • not letting him know about or have access to family income
Economic partnership
  • making money decisions together
  • making sure both partners benefit from financial arrangements
Using emotional abuse
  • putting him down
  • making him feel bad about himself
  • calling him names
  • making him think he's crazy
  • playing mind-games
  • humiliating him
  • making him feel guilty
Respect
  • listening to him non-judgmentally
  • being emotionally affirming and understanding
  • valuing opinions
Using gender-privilege
  • treating him like a servant
  • making all the big decisions
  • acting like the 'owner of the house'
  • being the one to define male and female roles
Shared responsibility
  • mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work
  • making family decisions together
Using isolation
  • controlling what he does, who he sees and talks to, what he reads, where he goes
  • limiting his outside involvement
  • using jealousy to justify actions
Trust and support
  • supporting his goals in life
  • respecting his right to his own feelings, friends, activities and opinions
Using children
  • making him feel guilty about the children
  • using the children to relay messages
  • using visitation to harass him
  • threatening to take the children away
Responsible parenting

  • sharing parental responsibilities
  • being a positive non-violent role model for the children
Minimising, denying and blaming


  • making light of the abuse and not taking his concerns about it seriously
  • saying the abuse didn't happen
  • shifting responsibility for abusive behaviour
  • saying he caused it
Honesty and accountability

  • accepting responsibility for self
  • acknowledging past use of violence
  • admitting being wrong
  • communicating openly and truthfully