Psychological abuse

In 1765 William Blackstone, a theorist of the British common law stated, "the very being and legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated into that of her husband under whose wing (and) protection she performs everything." In ancient Rome the legal distinction was made between men and women [...]

Most women who come to me for counselling are often confused and exasperated by their male partner’s flip flopping between ‘good guy’ and ‘bad guy’. Pauline said her husband Chris, “would be so lovely and charming to other people and so shit horrible to me.” Peter, a man who’d attended a stopping violence programme told [...]

Many women who are trying to make sense of why their male partner abuses and controls them ask me if I think he does it on purpose. Women find it extremely difficult to come to terms with the idea that he might do it on purpose. It’s not pleasant to consider that the partner you [...]

Judy, whose heart was breaking witnessing her daughter living with an abusive man, made a comment about her daughter under my post Warning Signs that your Male Partner is Controlling you: “We hardly ever get to see her …. It’s all a lot of small things — calling her names, abusive to the max, being [...]

This is the fifteenth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel — Domestic Slavery. Amongst heterosexual couples, many people believe the man should be the breadwinner (although being the sole breadwinner is really only possible for wealthy families). Alongside this, many people believe the woman should stay at [...]

This is the fourteenth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel — Symbolic Aggression. Drawing from research with men who have used symbolic aggression, and women who have been subjected to it, this blog illustrates just some of the tactics — these include the ways the perpetrator uses [...]

However, this blog post is about heterosexual relationships, but I have put links here to services that resource and support male victims in heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Understanding the role that gender plays in domestic violence in heterosexual relationships is important because there are differences in perpetrators’ motivation and intention, differences in severity of abuse, differences [...]

This is the tenth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel — Denial, Minimising, Blaming. We are all responsible for the choices we make in life. We’re personally responsible for our own thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and interpretations of situations. Our thoughts lead to our feelings and in turn [...]

This is the ninth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Using Social Institutions and Social Prejudices. Many perpetrators of psychological abuse use social, health, legal and other institutions such as child protection services as arenas to further their coercive control over their intimate partner. They use [...]

This is the seventh of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Degradation & Suppression of Potential. Men who degrade their female partner do this by calling her derogatory names like slut or whore, using abusive language, correcting things the woman says or does, by depriving her of [...]

This is the sixth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Emotional unkindness & violation of trust. Emotional unkindness entails DOING something unkind and the ABSENCE of, or FAILURE to do something kind. Emotional unkindness is a failure to provide for emotional needs such as encouragement, understanding, [...]

Do you wonder why she stays? Are you a woman who gets down on yourself because you are staying with him? If a woman believes she has married a charming, caring man, but then he goes on to control, manipulate and abuse her, this can be extremely confusing. There are many many reasons why women continue [...]

This is the fifth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Over-protection and ‘caring’. Many men who psychologically abuse and control their female partners do not define their behaviour as cruel or abusive. This is partly because their behaviours make perfect sense when viewed from their belief [...]

I wrote a blog post Warning Signs of Coercive Control by Your Partner for the Home & Family Counselling organisation's Blog to give women some pointers about warning signs of coercive control by a male partner. Clues to warning signs that you're in a relationship that is highly likely to continue to get worse - [...]

This is the third of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Inappropriate Restrictions. In our lives we are all restricted in a host of different ways. Laws, social and cultural etiquette, physical and mental ability, the hours we work, and our need to take time out to [...]

This is the second of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Mind Games.   Mind Games are deliberate attempts to psychologically manipulate someone. They are covert, coercive, manipulative intentions masked by innocent sounding communication. Mind Game language is designed to confuse and keep the victim from guessing [...]

This is the first of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics mentioned in my power and control wheel - One-Sided Power Games. Research with men and women reveals that men who engage in one-sided power games show more concern about gaining something for themselves than showing concern for what they are actually doing to [...]

You may recognise the Duluth ‘power and control’ wheel (on the left below) … it has been hanging around noticeboards at women’s centres, doctor’s rooms, and various other crisis places where women seek answers and shelter from violence perpetrated by their partners and spouses. The wheel is a summation of violence based on women’s experiences [...]

One of the most common problems for women experiencing psychological abuse, is that they do not realise what is occurring in the early stages and are often not able to put it in context of their normal lives. When psychological abuse begins it will often creep in over time; a subtle edge of voice tone, [...]

In radhe family violence scenario threats of suicide are manipulative and can lead to killing others. Threats of suicide by a man with a history of psychologically controlling his partner can be an indicator that re could seriously harm or murder family members, often before killing himself. Such threats make it vital for wider family and [...]

Men and women are socialised into a society founded on social hierarchies. In the west, those who are considered to have higher status than others are white people, people with higher education, men, people in the middle age range (that is not children and not elderly), people who are physically and mentally able, the rich, [...]

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