Intimate Partner Abusers engage in many controlling and psychological coercive methods to instill fear and total obedience in their victims.
Some common examples of coercive control behavior are:
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
- Controlling your finances
- Controlling or having access to your bank account
- Controlling where you work and the type of work you do
- Controlling everything in your household – from house deeds to apartment leases, house phone, cell phones, utilities
- Has everything in their name and being the sole person with authority over all accounts
- Monitoring your time
- Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
- Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
- Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
- Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless
- Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
- Physical Assault and Rape
- Making threats or intimidating you to keep you from leaving, seeking help or speaking publicly about your abuse
All the aforementioned examples of Coercive Control cannot be quantified with physical assault, a black eye, broken bones and other injuries. Coercive Control is more insidious and is a calculated, controlled assault on the victim causing emotional and psychological harm to the victims. Victims are held hostage by the Coercive Control attacks by the abuser and they live in fear, terrified of what will happen next. Coercive Control with abusers does continue after the relationship ends because in many cases the victims are still tied to the abuser where they can be intimidated or harassed.
Eventually, the abuser when they realize they are losing their control over the victim, they resort to physical assault and sexual assault. Recognizing Coercive Control as a domestic abuse will help victims get help sooner from the authorities and possibly avoid physical and sexual assaults. New York State has taken the lead on many social justice and gun justice issues, it is time that New York State takes the lead in the United States in passing reforms to include Coercive Control as other countries have already done.