Coercive Control basically means the more subtle types of abuse that you might experience in a controlling relationship.
There may be physical abuse, but not always, and in many cases the abuser will use other more subtle tactics to exert power and control over you, that aren’t so easy to spot. Coercive control is extremely powerful – it makes it difficult for you to leave the relationship, it makes you feel dependent on the person that is abusing you and it can make you do things that you wouldn’t necessarily agree to do, if you weren’t so worried about the consequences.
Tactics of Coercive Control can include:
- Making you account for your time – monitoring your mileage, phone bills
- Not allowing you access to your own money, making you ask for money, withholding child maintenance payments
- Isolating you from friends and family, making it difficult for you to see/talk to them, asking for proof
- Making child contact difficult, using it as a way to keep control over you, turning the children and others against you
- Not allowing you to have a voice, an opinion or a choice in anything
- Jealousy, false accusations
- Witholding your medication, ‘Gaslighting’, using your secrets against you
What is gaslighting? Wikipedia
When this is happening to you, you don’t really see it coming and then it is hard to get out. You question everything. There is nothing more lonely than being in a relationship with someone who puts you down all the time. I never thought I would get away and be happy again, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with your helpKaren, Windsor.
Don’t assume that because there isn’t any physical abuse that it isn’t dangerous.
It’s really important that you get confidential help and advice before you take any action – contact me or your local specialist domestic abuse organisation – Google it and give them a call.
Don’t delay. It won’t get better. This isn’t love, it’s control, but remember if this is happening to you, it’s not your fault. You CAN recover from coercive control and find the happiness you deserve. Abusers tell you that you never will, but this is a big fat LIE designed to keep you with them. There are many women out there who are living their best life now, me included – why not make it this year’s Resolution?!
Written by Divorce Coach and Domestic Abuse Specialist Caron Kipping who features in The Hug Directory