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What is Coercive Control and where to seek help

Coercive control refers to a pattern of controlling behaviors that create an unequal power dynamic in a relationship. These behaviors give the perpetrator power over their partner, making it difficult for them to leave. Sometimes, coercive control can escalate into physical abuse and sometimes not. Coercive Control does not need to involve physical violence.


Monitoring and spying

A person may exert power and control by choosing and influencing what someone wears, where they go, who they go out with, and what activities they take part in. The controlling person may also demand or get access to the partner’s computer, mobile phone, or email account.

They might even put a tracing device in their vehicle or a hidden camera in their homer.

Gaining Financial Control

This happens when a person has control over someone’s access to money and does not allow them to make financial decisions. Having someone control your money and finances can leave a person without food or clothing and make it harder for them to leave the relationship.

Isolating their Partner

A controlling person may try to get their partner to reduce or sever contact with family and friends so that they are easier to control and less people know of their coercive behaviour.

They could also prevent them from going to work or school.

Humiliation and Insulting

Gaslighting and constant insults to undermine a person’s self-esteem. This can involve name-calling, highlighting a person’s insecurities, or putting them down. Eventually, the person experiencing this abuse starts to believe it and feel they deserve the insults

Threats and Intimidation

Perpetrators of Coercive Control can make threats that include physical violence, self-harm, or public humiliation. For example, a person trying to control their partner may threaten to hurt themselves or kill themself if their partner tries to leave or publish sexually explicit images or personal data online.

This person may also smash items around the home or their partner’s sentimental belongings in an attempt to intimidate and scare them.

Sexual Coercion

This occurs when the perpetrator manipulates their partner into unwanted sexual activity. They may use pressure, threats, guilt-tripping, lies, or other trickery to coerce them into having sex.

Using Children or Pets

The perpetrator may use children or family pets as an avenue of controlling their partner. They could do this by threatening the children or pets, or threatening to take sole custody of them if their partner leaves.

They may also manipulate children by telling lies to attempt to get them to dislike the other parent.

What can we do?

Dads, as you can see there are so many ways someone can try to exert Power and Control over their partner. They say, these types of people have learnt it from their up bringing and role models.

It’s so important that we are not the teaches to our children on domestic violence, but from a young age we teach our children respect and nurturing behaviours of other people. Boys can not grow up thinking they can control girls, like; girls can’t have other male friends if you are darting them, or they can’t wear what they like to a party etc. Equality has never been so important and we need to be their role model. It can start young, if you see your son demonstrating signs of coercive control, pull them ups and teach them the right way to treat people and how to behave.

No one deserves to live in a relationship that their partner has coercive control over them, it is domestic violence.

If you know someone in a relationship like this, help them and direct them to some professional help:

  • 1800RESPECT 1800737732
  • Lifeline 131114
  • Mens Referral Service 1300766491
  • Emergency Services 000
  • Domestic Violence Help Line 1800811811
  • Support for Families 1300364277
  • Support for Kids 1800551800
  • Support for people with disabilities 1800880052
  • Your local doctor