Most women who attend counselling – to come to terms with their partner’s psychologically abusive and controlling behaviours – often beat up on themselves saying: “I let it happen” and “I feel like I’ve failed”. Women describe feeling emotionally beaten down, shame, guilt, anger, sadness, depression, lack of confidence, insecure, discouraged, defeated, desperate, fearful, anxious [...]

Why are so many women who are psychologically abused and controlled by male partners losing court battles for custody of their children? Whether men deliberately aim to gain and maintain power and control or not, this is the effect on women. If you look at the hierarchies of power and control in nearly every social [...]

This blog has been revised because the video I wanted readers to see has been removed from the internet, so I've left this short blog post here so that all the comments can remain. Previously I introduced a video on PBS video to hear children talking about the impact of domestic violence and the failure [...]

Here I write a review of Dr. Margaret W. Jones's book about her experience of abuse within church communities. My first impressions when I received this memoir to review were that it was a heavy long 400-page book with small writing so I thought it better be good! I was surprised that a Reverend had [...]

Women who have male partners who psychologically abuse, restrict, control, manipulate and rob women of their sense of self, need a safety plan whether their partner ever lays a finger on them or not. Many controlling men stalk, threaten and harass women who leave. Other controlling men use physical violence, or threaten to kill, or [...]

Men who murder their female partners are often motivated by a need to save face by regaining a sense of power and control if the woman threatens to leave, or does leave. Many mental health and legal professionals do not take women’s experience of psychological abuse and control seriously. But men’s perpetration of psychological abuse [...]

Dr Angela Jury conducted interviews with 25 survivors of intimate partner abuse for her PhD research. The following are extracts from a Massey University news release about her study: Abused women – especially victims of psychological and emotional torment – are often so paralysed by what they see as the stigma and shame associated with [...]

The following is an interview I conducted with Margaret Jones PhD, who has written a book about her experiences titled: Not of my making: Bullying, scapegoating and misconduct in Churches. Clare: What were the tactics of bullying, scapegoating, misconduct and psychological abuse that you experienced as the target of those tactics? Margaret: My adversaries refused [...]

The other day I met a social worker/counsellor at a seminar. When she found out I research domestic violence she immediately told me that women who stay with violent men are codependent. She said such women were just the same as women who live with alcoholics. She was not interested in another view because she [...]

This Lawyer-Client wheel was motivated firstly by the book Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture by Marc Galanter, and secondly, by the State Bar of Texas ethics rules (which reflect ethics rules for lawyers across USA generally). Marc Galanter made a point in his book that lawyers are widely mistrusted by non-lawyers in [...]

But this does not mean they enter a relationship that leads to abuse and control. However, this was the case for many of the women I interviewed in my Masters research, and many of the women I see for counselling. Some women talk about having their life mapped out for them. For example, whether or [...]

Women I interviewed for my Masters research said that before marrying, most of them had total belief in their partner – because he was a man. The women said that trusting and believing their partner - just because he was a man - was socially encouraged. In other words when he used abusive language, or [...]

Some male perpetrators of domestic violence harm family pets to get power and control over their wives and children. Men's cruelty to companion animals silences women and children and is used to gain compliance, instill fear and prevents women from leaving and abusive relationship

In today's issue of the New Zealand Herald I read another example of a male perpetrator of domestic violence and psychological abuse who intended to harm his partner - but used alcohol as an excuse to minimise his responsibility. Snippets from the article say: "Ross Simon Fraser has admitted beating his partner Joanne Thompson to [...]

Maintenance is the fifth and final stage in this series of blogs about providing help for women that is appropriate to her stage of coping with being abused and controlled by a male partner. Dienneman and her colleagues (2007) call this stage establishing a new life whether the woman stays together with her partner or [...]

Today I read this article about the very problematic issue of male perpetrators of domestic violence (including psychological abuse and coercive control) giving gifts as a means of trying to ameliorate their partner and trying to increase the chances that she will stay with him and meet his controlling commands. My research with women shows [...]

Stage 4 of making change is the time when new actions take place. Dienemann and colleagues (2007) suggest this stage in women's relationships in which men abuse and control them, entails breaking away from their relationship - or - it entails the man curtailing his abuse and control. This is a time when women assess [...]

When women start to develop a determination to prepare for seeking change it does not mean it becomes easy for friends and family to know how to support her. At this third stage in women's process of making sense of one-sided power and control by a male partner, Dienemann and colleagues (2007) suggest women are [...]

During the contemplation stage of women coming to terms with the abuse and control by their male partner, women begin to accept that there is a problem that is not resolving itself. Dienemann and colleagues (2007) call stage 2 a time when women continue to be committed to the relationship but begin to question it. [...]

As Yolantha in this video says, she did not recognise she was in a domestic violence situation. She was attracted to her man because he was passionate about things. She had never heard of psychological abuse and control and what it entailed. But when she was given some information, she still didn't want to believe [...]

I had two clients arrive today in tormented distress. One client was confused about her husband's behaviours. She was also distraught because she is yearning to leave, but feels guilty at the thought of doing so. She wants to leave but is still confused about why he continues to be abusive and controlling despite the [...]

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