Hesperian Health Guides

Kinds of Violence

There are many different ways that a man tries to gain power over a woman. Beating is only one of them. But all of them can hurt a woman.

Imagine that the circle below is a wheel. Power and control are at the center of the wheel because they are the reasons behind all of the actions. Each section of the wheel is a behavior that a violent man may use to control a woman. Violence is the rim of the wheel—what holds it together and gives it strength.

the wheel described above, with 8 sections: Controlling Money, Sexual Abuse, Blaming Her, Using Children, Because He Is a Man, Making Threats, Isolation, and Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse: The man insults the woman, puts her down, or makes her think she is going crazy.
  • Controlling Money: The man tries to keep the woman from getting a job or making her own money. He makes her ask him for any money she needs. Or he may force her to work and then take the money she earns.
  • Sexual Abuse: The man makes the woman do sexual things against her will, or physically attacks the sexual parts of her body. He treats her like an object.
  • Blaming Her: The man says that the abuse did not really happen, that it was not serious, or that it was the woman’s fault.
  • Using Children: The man uses the children to make the woman feel guilty, or to hurt her.
  • Because He Is a 'Man': The man uses the fact that he is a man as an excuse to treat the woman like a servant. He makes all the decisions and tells her that, as a woman, she has no right to object.
  • Making Threats: The man uses a look, action, tone of voice, or makes threats that make the woman feel afraid that he will hurt her.
  • Isolation: The man controls everything the woman does — who she sees and talks to, and where she goes.

This page was updated:17 Apr 2019