COERCIVE CONTROL IS AN ACT or a pattern of acts used by one person to harm, punish or frighten another person to secure psycho-emotional dominance. It begins with occasional incidents of strategic aggression that escalate over time to full-scale campaigns of intimate terrorism.
Coercive control was conceptualized by Evan Stark, Ph.D. in his book Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life. Perpetrators of coercive control also harm their children as part of their wider campaign to isolate the primary recipient of the abuse.
Signs of Coercive Control
|1. Gaslighting||The perpetrator deliberately distorts the victim-survivors’ reality.|
|2. Isolation||The perpetrator isolates the victim-survivor from family and friends.|
|3. Control of Daily Life||The perpetrator dictates where the victim-survivor can go, see, wear, and eat.|
|4. Monitoring time||The perpetrator oversees where the victim-survivor is, where they are going, and what they are doing at all times|
|5. Put-Downs||The perpetrator may repeatedly tell the victim-survivor that they are worthless or useless, they may publically humiliate the victim-survivor by calling them degrading names or by criticizing their appearance, intelligence, etc.|
|6. Monitoring Communication||The perpetrator may use spyware to track the victim-survivors’ digital communication.|
|7. Rules and Regulations||The perpetrator creates a set of ever changing rules which they enforce by humiliating, degrading, or dehumanizing the victim-survivor.|
|8. Threats||The perpetrator may threaten to hurt or kill the victim-survivor, their child, family members, friends, or pets; they may threaten to take away their child; they may threaten to reveal private information such as intimate photos or revelations about your sexuality.|
|9. Deprivation of Basic Needs||The perpetrator restricts the victim-survivors’ access to healthcare and food.|
|10. Obstruction of Employment||The perpetrator may stop the victim-survivor from obtaining employment, going to work, and earning their own money.|
|11. Financial Abuse||The perpetrator takes control of the victim-survivors’ finances, making sure they have little access to money so that the victim-survivor is dependent on them.|
|12. Criminal Damage||The perpetrator may damage or destroy the victim-survivors’ personal property.|
|13. Assault or Rape||The perpetrator may physically abuse, sexually assault, or rape the victim-survivor.|