Power and Coercive Control is one of the lesser understood tools of the abuser
Domestic and Family Violence is commonly recognised as a combination of physical harm, psychological abuse, and emotional abuse. But whilst media portrayal of “bruised and battered” women catches our attention and has brought focus to much needed criminal legislation, studies show the reality that most domestic and family violence does not “routinely” involve physical violence.
Power and Coercive Control has an underlying plan – the purposeful, deliberate strategy used by perpetrators to entrap, isolate and disempower their victims.
Safe relationships, equality, caring, sharing and other compassionate qualities are swept away by domestic violence perpetrators leaving victims as mere shadows of their former selves – mentally and emotionally violated and often battered.
Coercive Control, psychological and emotional abuse is recognised as the greatest wrecker of family life.
It is secretive – hidden behind closed doors – leaves no bruising – and fewer witnesses. Non-physical abuse is selective and can be very subtle – less obvious to you, to outsiders, and concerned family and friends.
Initially it can appear as “normal” behaviour … BUT … Coercive Control can become dangerous Power Play.
It’s the subtle shifting sand of domestic violence where a “usually trusted” partner has undisclosed, sometimes malevolent intent wrapped up in a pretence to the outside world, of things appearing “normal”.
The blame for any discord or disconnect is carefully laid at the door of the innocent.
At its most brutal, the results of Coercive Control can be life threatening.
Coercive Control is a dangerous escalation of “normal” domestic and family violence. The skilled perpetrator can be likened to a Paedophile grooming their unsuspecting prey. Their moves can be incredibly subtle and many victims don’t see it coming – or – do not want to believe the deceit they may be seeing as “on purpose”.
You need to see the complex patterns and understand the consequences of Coercive Control that may be playing out in your life.
If you fear for your safety, feel trapped, have doubts or confusion about what is happening in your life and relationship … you need to review your circumstances.