Coercive abuse is a type of domestic violence like physical or verbal abuse. However, this is a subtler form of abuse that can be just as destructive.
Coercive abuse is a type of abusive behavior that denotes a persistent pattern of emotional domination intended to rob the victim of their freedom, power, and control. It is a methodical strategy of continual, intentional use of terror used to frighten and coerce the target into submission. In subsequent paragraphs, we will discuss the signs of coercive abuse and how to deal with it.
Coercive Abuse Signs
Over time, coercive control usually gets worse. It is always emotionally abusive and can also be physically, verbally, or sexually abusive. Domestic violence can take the form of coercive control.
#1. Cutting You Off from Your Support Network
A controlling partner would attempt to isolate you from your friends and family or restrict your contact with them so you don’t get the support you need.
They accomplish this in several ways, some of which are listed below:
Recommending shared social media and phone numbers for convenience
Relocating you far from your family so that it is difficult for you to see them
#2. Telling Others Lies About You
Keeping track of every phone conversation you have with your family and disconnecting the connection if someone tries to intervene
Persuading you that your family despises you and won’t speak to you
Irritating another individual
An insult lowers someone’s sense of self-worth. This could be calling someone names, bringing up their fears, or tearing them down.
The victim of this abuse could eventually come to believe that they are deserving of the insults.
#3. Keep Track of Your Daily Activities
In order to exert coercive control, abusers try to be everywhere at once.
By installing cameras or recording equipment throughout your home, they can sometimes converse with you while you’re at home during the day via two-way surveillance.
This intrusive observation frequently extends to private spaces, such as the bedroom and even the bathroom, adding an element of humiliation to what is already a blatant boundary violation.”
All of this gives them more power and serves to remind you that they are keeping an eye on you.
#4. Exercising Control Over Money
This happens when someone is denied access to money and is prevented from making financial decisions. This can make it difficult for them to end the connection and leave them without access to food or clothing.
#5. Limiting Your Freedom and Independence
Your independence and freedom of movement may be restricted by someone using coercion.
Here are a few techniques:
- Preventing you from going to work or school
- Limiting your ability to access transportation
- Following you everywhere you go when you’re out
- Removing your phone and updating every password
The abuser would pressure the victim to accept that they were always correct. To get their way and persuade you that you’re mistaken, they’ll manipulate, deceive, and gaslight.
#7. Intimidation Sexual
When a perpetrator coerces their partner into unwelcome sexual behavior, it is called a “trusted source.” To force people into having sex, they could resort to coercion, threats, guilt-tripping, falsehoods, or other types of deception.
#8. Calling You Names and Making Fun of you
Name-calling, cruel insults, and persistent criticism are all examples of bullying behavior.
they are intended to make you feel inadequate and unimportant.
#9. Restricting Your Financial Options
Having financial control over you is a strategy to limit your freedom and ability to end the relationship.
They may try to establish financial control by doing the following:
- Putting you on a stringent spending plan that only barely covers the necessities, including food and clothing
- Preventing access to your bank accounts.
- Concealing financial assets
- Denying you access to a credit card
- Closely observing your spending
#10. Upholding Established Gender Norms
Your spouse may attempt to distinguish between who serves as the man and the woman in the relationship, regardless of the type of relationship you are in.
They will make an effort to prove why men are the primary wage earners and women are the homemakers and mothers. They might force you to handle all the housework, cooking, and child care using this justification.
#11. Your Children Turning on You
If you have kids, whether you share them with the abuser or someone else, they might try to use them against you by calling you a lousy parent or making fun of you in front of the kids.
This attitude may make you feel helpless and cause a split in your relationship with your children.
#12. Being in Control of Your Body and Health
They’ll keep an eye on you and regulate how much you eat, sleep, and use the restroom.
Your abuser may insist that you keep to a tight exercise schedule or count calories after each meal. Additionally, they might decide which prescriptions you’re authorized to use and if you receive medical attention.
You can experience the sensation that your body no longer belongs to you and that you must always tread carefully.
#13. Making Claims of Jealousy
They can phase you out and reduce your contact with the outside world by jealously whining about how much time you spend with your family and friends, both online and off.
They might also try to make you feel bad by doing this.
#14. Controlling Your Romantic Relationship
Abusers may place restrictions on the frequency of your sex sessions and the kinds of activities you engage in. Additionally, they can insist on taking explicit photos or films of you or objects if you wear a condom.
The victims may develop an ‘understanding’ that they risk suffering serious repercussions if they don’t comply with their offenders’ requests or wants.”
#15. Endangering Your Kids or Pets
That if verbal, written, or physical threats fail to exert the intended control over you, your abuser may try using threats against others. Your children or pets, for instance, could be in danger.
This may resemble:
- Making them the target of violent threats
- Threatening to report child neglect or abuse to social services even when you aren’t
- Frightening you by making decisions regarding your children without your permission.
- Making threats to take your kids or put your pet down
How to Deal with Coercive Abuse
When children are involved, leaving an abusive relationship can be very difficult. However, if you prepare ahead of time, you can leave the situation safely.
What you can do is:
#1. Write Notes in a Journal
If you see any coercive behavior in your relationship, start keeping a notebook or writing things down. My recommendation is to save everything you might need in the future, including screenshots of text messages, photos, and letters.
#2. Do not be Reluctant to Seek Assistance
Tell someone close to you what you’re going through and ask for their help, or get in touch with one of the organizations on the list below. It’s really difficult to leave an abuser, especially if they’ve cut you off from the majority of your friends and family and have stolen a lot of your identity.
#3. Make an Escape Plan
Planning your getaway is essential since you need to take great care and consideration when doing this. Begin by gathering all the necessary documents, such as passports,
bank account information, and birth documents, and hide or give them to a friend or family member for safekeeping. Keep a change of clothes, phone numbers for everyone you might need to call in case you lose your phone, and whatever cash you can find in an emergency bag.
Whenever you can, stay in touch with your support systems. That this is crucial regardless of how your abuser may feel. Additionally, make sure your loved ones have your complete contact information and ask them to check in frequently.
Consistently dial a domestic abuse hotline. Keep track of the location of the closest public phone, and frequently discuss your options with a specialist. You have additional choices if you refer to our resource guide.
#4. You are Supported by the Law
Unfortunately, abusers rarely leave without a fight, so call the police if you are concerned that they might become violent. It’s crucial to preserve as much evidence as you can because coercive control abuse is illegal and violators may face punishment.
Have an emergency plan. Victims should have a plan for where they are going and who they are staying with when they decide to leave, understanding that the initial period of separation could be the most perilous in terms of an abuser trying to reconcile — through both legal and unlawful action.”
A behavioral pattern known as coercive control allows one individual to exert control over another person by instilling fear in them.
Any type of intimate connection can involve coercive control, which can take the form of insulting the other person, threatening them, controlling their finances, or employing sexual coercion.
Coercive control is a kind of abuse, There are numerous organizations that can offer assistance and support to those who need it.
Coercive Abuse FAQs
How do you respond to coercion?
Setting some fundamental boundaries on the kind of behavior and treatment they will and will not tolerate is the first step that victims can take.
What are some of the signs of coercive control?
The following are some indications that it may be happening to you:
- insulting you or otherwise making fun of you.
- trying to get you to doubt your own sanity (gaslighting)
- a breach of your privacy.
- penalizing you for refusing to comply with their wishes.
- an attempt to manage your life.
Does coercion count as assault?
The person you already have a relationship with is the one with whom you are most likely to experience sexual coercion. There should never be sexual activity without your consent. You may be the victim of sexual assault if you are being forced or coerced into engaging in sexual behavior.