Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America

One Woman's Desperate Journey; a Revolution at a Crossroads
Year Released
Film Length(s)
50 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL


Kim seeks safety and a new life in a Duluth, MN domestic violence shelter. She bravely struggles to understand herself better and find an independent new life. A comprehensive and timely exploration of the shocking persistence of domestic violence in our society, Power and Control has been added to the collections of hundreds of academic libararies and is in wide use in domestic violence shelters and advocacy groups. Also of interest are two companion videos: Domestic Violence in Law Enforcement and Domestic Violence and Health Care, two shorter, most specialized videos, also available from New Day. All films are available on DVD and via a wide variety of flexible streaming options.

Featured review

Equally a useful primer on aspects of domestic violence and a purely harrowing story (with a walloping twist), Power and Control is highly recommended.- Rob Nelson
Minnesota Post
Minnesota Post


A young mother of three flees from a violent household and seeks a bttter life for her family. Indispensable for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of family violence, particularly in sociology, social work, women's studies, psychology, law enforcement, law and medical schools. The title has been recommended by Video Librarian, Educational Media Reviews Online, and Booklist. Kim's struggles illustrate the social, cultural, legal and political dimensions of family violence. The film also tells the story of the creators of the hugely influential "Duluth Model," domestic violence policies that have been adopted around the world. Today the Duluth approach faces new challenges from outside critics. At the same time, leaders of the battered women's movement are struggling to rekindle the spirit of sisterhood that has propelled the movement for 30 years

Along the way, this multi-level narrative also explores the deepest causes of domestic violence and the solutions that have evolved to stop it, celebrating the activists who demanded change in the 1980s, and examining new alternative approaches that are now being advocated.


Highly Recommended- Barb Bergman, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Educational Media Review Online
Recommended- M. Puffer-Rothenberg
Video Librarian
Video Librarian
point[s] to the complexity of the problem and the critical need for national, state, and community-based responses to crimes of abusive behavior.- Carol Holzberg
... valuable to all those interested in domestic abuse issues.- Joan Pedzich, Harris Beach PLLC, Rochester, NY
Library Journal
Library Journal
Peter Cohn has captured two key social phenomenon in his documentary: the power of ordinary citizens to permanently alter the social conditions that fuel violence, and the power of a single woman to struggle for her dignity and her children's safety against incredible social forces thwarting those simple goals of justice.Ellen PenceBattered Women's Movement Leader, Co-founder, the Duluth Model
Ellen Pence
Ellen Pence
... demonstrates the complexities victims face at the hands of an abusive husband or boyfriend. This film encourages thoughtful dialogue on what we need to do to end domestic violence. I hope it receives widespread exposure."Michael PaymarBattered Women's Movement Leader, Co-founder, the Duluth Model
Michael Paymar
Michael Paymar

Director Commentary

I made Power and Control because I believe there's a huge need for a film that takes a deep look at the shocking persistence of gender violence in our society. It has been incredibly gratifying to watch the film seen and used on hundreds of campuses, and in domestic violence shelters, sexual assault programs, military bases and many other settings.

I started working on the film with the assumption that most people already know that domestic violence is a pervasive social ill. But as I visited shelters and met with DV advocates, it became clear to me that much of the story hasn't been told. Who are the victims of domestic violence? How do domestic violence shelters work? What has become of the battered women's movement pioneers who started the first shelters? Who are the strongest critics of the mainstream approach to domestic violence? What would it be like to film the men who batter?

I love to hear from students and faculty -- and welcome questions and debate about the core ideas presented in the film, as well as any questions about Kim, her daughters, Josh and the film's other heroic main subjects, and where they are now.

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning
  • DVD Extras
  • Subtitles
  • Resources for Educators

Subtitle/Caption Languages

  • English

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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