The "Domestic Violence Wheel," created by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs of Duluth, depicts how a perpetrator of domestic abuse can use power and control in various ways which result in an abusive relationship developing and escalating over time. The correlation between domestic violence and bullying is strong.
Look at the wheel. Surrounding power and control are many of the same factors that lead to bullying and can continue into adulthood, and evolve into some more specifically targeted.
When thinking about intervention and prevention of bullying behavior we do not need to start from scratch. Rather, look at social parallels such as domestic violence, sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
A main feature in all of these social problems is that there exists a misuse of power: a power imbalance, a history of blaming the victim and excusing, rationalizing and or minimizing the behavior of the perpetrator. What does work is increased education and public awareness, consequences for perpetrators and support for victims.
We have to be vigilant in stemming this behavior while the children are young enough, before the patterns became ingrained and manifest themselves in tragic ways as they age.
[Domestic violence] is characterized by the pattern of actions that an individual uses to intentionally control or dominate his intimate partner. ... A batterer systematically uses threats, intimidation, and coercion to instill fear in his partner. These behaviors are the spokes of the wheel. Physical and sexual violence holds it all together — this violence is the rim of the wheel. — The Duluth Model
copyright © 2012 amy burzinski. all rights reserved.