“I shine a light on the misuse of power and control in relationships.”

Clare Murphy PhD Counsellor Supervisor Trainer Researcher

Clare Murphy PhD Counsellor Supervisor Trainer Researcher

Welcome to SpeakOutLoud.
You’ve reached a place where you can find out about coercive control, emotional abuse and psychological abuse.
Here you can begin to understand the deep, underlying roles these dynamics play in our daily lives.

The scope is breathtaking … domestic violence, workplace bullying, school bullying, institutional violence, corporate violence, political violence, and more … where perpetrators’ violence and injustices are often aided and abetted by our society’s accepted cultural and lawful norms.

Not everyone is safe and free. Huge numbers of people live in fear. Trapped, damaged and in pain. Isolated by perpetrators who are not free either. Masked, driven control freaks lashing out, unhappy like their victims, they emotionally abuse and coercively control as a way to feel safe. But when they get real – and slip their quest for power and control – they have to admit they are not truly free or safe themselves.

My studies focus on the thread of domestic violence but the results illuminate the broader reaches of social psychology and sociology.

I freed myself of relationships with perpetrators long ago. But that was only after years of intense study of the ‘power and control’ phenomenon. Now I see the warning signs very early on. The purpose of this website and blog is to engage in a kind of archeological dig, seeking to expose the skeletons of this often secret thing called ‘power and control’. My writings aim to flesh out the true shape of the perpetrator – too adept at hiding damaged victims from public and family gaze. I seek to shine a light into the hidden corners for victims living in nightmares and surviving wretched existences behind closed doors. I share the stories of the survivors of one-sided power and control and give voice to their triumph – men and women.

My academic study, research, real life counselling and SpeakOutLoud is for you

The victim. It is about validating and supporting you and hearing your stories. It is also about hearing the stories of perpetrators who have changed, are changing or want to change. SpeakOutLoud is for the bystanders — concerned persons, friends and family of victims and perpetrators.

I write so you will learn how to detect psychological abuse and coercive control … and learn how to respond.

In SpeakOutLoud I seek to inform and educate professionals who may not fully understand the big dynamic of the traumatising and damaging effects of emotional abuse and control. By professionals I mean counsellors, psychologists, social workers, legal professionals, police and crime prevention professionals, and those who work in mental health who might have clients dealing with issues relating to power and control. Also for academics – lecturers and researchers – to build your resources.

My aim is to add support to the knowledge of professionals who already know about the dynamics of emotional abuse and power and control. Professionals such as “stopping abuse” programme facilitators, university lecturers who teach about domestic violence and other professionals in the field who can use every shred of new knowledge in the ever shifting ground walked by wily perpetrators and their innocent victims. Your expertise makes a valuable contribution to diminishing these problems.

SpeakOutLoud is shouting about Coercive Control and Psychological Abuse

This is a vast problem that permeates society. And I wish I could address every aspect of power and control for everyone and change the world! However, I can only blog about what I know. So, accordingly, my greater focus is on subjects related to my Masters and PhD research.

That means I specifically discuss heterosexual men who perpetrate emotional abuse and control against their female partners. And I discuss heterosexual women who have been victimised by these same behaviours.

Please note: these discussions do NOT mean that all men are abusive and all women are victims.

Coercive Power and Control is also perpetrated by mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, teachers, peers, friends, sports coaches, business owners, bosses, colleagues, school bullies, husbands, wives, neighbours, and more.
I explore controllers, and issues of power and control, across these and other environments and talk about connections between school bullying, workplace bullying, sports violence and domestic violence.

Power and control issues are not always the same.

Ask the hard questions

  • What are its complexities?
  • How do you identify it?
  • Is it always bad or abusive?
  • Are you perpetrating it?
  • How do you know if you are, or not?
  • What is the difference between a relationship marked by one-sided power and control, and a healthy relationship where there are occasional problems?
  • What place does gender, sexuality, race and socio-economic status have in the dynamics of power and control?
  • What tactics do men use who control their female partners?
  • How do women cope when their male partner psychologically abuses and controls them?
  • What role do journalists, teachers and sports coaches have in enabling school bullying and domestic violence to occur?
  • Why do women stay with abusive partners?
  • Why do men need to be controlling?
  • How do you set boundaries with control freaks? Why should you?
  • What is the relevance of shame in motivating men or women to be controlling?
  • What are the physical and psychological effects for victims of coercive control and emotional – psychological abuse?

Coercive Control is the sustained violation of trust that undermines relationships.
How common?


Learn about the complex patterns of abuse and coercive control that may be playing out in your life.
DOWNLOAD links to Clare Murphy’s unique Power & Control Wheel PLUS 7 pages of Abuser Tactics List.
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To find out more about Clare and this SpeakOutLoud website click on the following:

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This page was updated 8th January 2017