Family/Friends can help

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 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 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, [...]

This is the fourth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Isolation. Isolation is a pivotal tactic that controlling partners use in order to weaken their victims, prevent them from hearing others’ perspectives, and to bring them into line with his own beliefs and requirements. Often possessiveness [...]

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 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 [...]

In the 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 he could seriously harm or murder family members, often before killing himself. Such threats make it vital for wider family and [...]

I've known many women who, after leaving a controlling male partner, experienced ongoing anger that just would not go away. Some women have incessant thoughts of revenge and fight with themselves not to do something they'll regret. I'm writing this blog in response to a comment posted by Amy in my blog post about how [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]