With Coercive Control, the Abuse Is Psychological
Marlene Breverman stashed this in Abusive relationships
Lisa Fontes’s ex-boyfriend never punched her, or pulled her hair. But he hacked into her computer, and installed a spy cam in her bedroom, and subtly distanced her from her friends and family.
Still, she didn’t think she was a victim of domestic abuse. “I had no way to understand this relationship except it was a bad relationship,” said Dr. Fontes, 54, who teaches adult education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
It was only after doing research on emotional abuse that she discovered a name for what she experienced: Coercive control, a pattern of behavior that some people — usually but not always men — employ to dominate their partners. Coercive control describes an ongoing and multipronged strategy, with tactics that include manipulation, humiliation, isolation, financial abuse, stalking, gaslighting and sometimes physical or sexual abuse.
To a victim of coercive control, a threat might be misinterpreted as love, especially in the early stages of a relationship, or when one is feeling especially vulnerable.
Dr. Fontes, for example, was in her 40s and newly divorced when she met her ex-boyfriend. He was charming and adoring, and though he was a little obsessive, she overlooked it. Never mind that she has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, and specializes in child abuse and violence against women.
“For a person looking for love and romance, it can feel wonderful that someone wants to monopolize your time,” she admitted.
Coercive control sounds dreadful.
While the term “coercive control” isn’t widely known in the United States, the concept of nonphysical forms of mistreatment as a kind of domestic abuse is gaining recognition. In May, the hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou took off on Twitter, with users sharing their own stories.
Last December, England and Wales expanded the definition of domestic abuse to include “coercive and controlling behavior in an intimate or family relationship,” making it a criminal offense carrying a maximum sentence of five years. To date, at least four men have been sentenced under the new law.
(the link from above: "Coercive control")
Tactics of Coercive Control Used by Men Against Intimate Female Partners
Dr. Clare Murphy PhD www.speakoutloud.net Version: 1st October 2014