Coercive control is described as a pattern of controlling behaviors that create an unequal power dynamic in a relationship. In some instances coercive control can escalate into physical abuse. However, even if it does not escalate into physical abuse, coercive control is a form of emotional abuse that can cause psychological trauma to the victim.
Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse. The pattern of controlling behaviours can over time suppress conflict. For example, the victim is deprived of the resources which he or she may need such as money, friends and transportation. The controlling partner may even stalk his or her partner by watching their movements via technology, and micromanaging their daily life.
Eventually the victim starts to doubt themselves. Controlling partners can be persuasive, charming and outwardly very genial, which is why friends and family often don’t believe the victim’s claims of emotional abuse. This is the abuser’s hidden power.
There are a number of signs which may indicate that you are in a controlling relationship namely:
- Excessive phone calls or messages during the day
- Demands to know your whereabouts or plans
- Monitoring your communications such as your phone calls and messages to others
- Aggressive behaviour
- Blaming you for things that happen or for his own behaviour
- Preventing you from seeing your family or friends
- Not allowing you to work
- Not allowing you to go out
- Insulting or undermining you
There may be other signs in addition to the above mentioned that indicate that you are in a controlling relationship. Although leaving may often feel impossible, there are steps which can be taken to free you of the situation you may find yourself in.
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Author – Kate Bailey – Hill