What is coercive control?
Coercive control is a common type of domestic abuse, but it doesn’t necessarily include physical violence. Coercive control is part of and comes under domestic violence.
This type of abuse can force the victim to become isolated from their support network and reliant on someone who inflicts acts or patterns of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation — often compared to a hostage-like situation.
This type of abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age or gender; however, younger women mainly in their first relationships tend to be more at risk.
The law defines coercive control as controlling behaviour that has a “serious effect” on a partner, causing them to fear violence at least twice or causing them serious distress.
What are the signs?
If your partner is always making snide comments decreasing your self-esteem, then that is abuse. Additionally, if your partner is monitoring whom you see, what you wear, where you go and taking away your ability to see your friends and family that is coercive control.
Some examples of this type of abuse from Women’s Aid are as follows:
• Taking control over aspects of everyday life,
• Being stopped from working or going to school/college/university,
• Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless,
• Having money taken away or controlled,
• Depriving you of basic needs, such as food and drink,
• Monitoring your time,
• Being isolated from friends and family,
• Having your social media or other online communication accounts monitored or controlled,
• Depriving you access to support services, such as medical,
• Being told what to wear,
• Being threatened with violence if they do not behave in a certain way,
• Having threats made to loved ones or pets.
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