Effects of Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Coercive behaviour

Some people don’t understand what coercive behaviour is and endure it daily with no knowledge of what is happening. Signs of coercive behaviour are acts of assault, humiliation, threats, intimidation, or any other form of abuse, whether emotional, sexual, financial, or physical violence.

 The aim of this is to make the person on the other end of this behavior feel frightened, intimidated and to punish them. This is controlling behavior and is to make you feel dependent on the person, also isolating you from family, friends, and other sources of support, so you are totally dependent on them.

You become vulnerable and your everyday life is taken over with the person controlling your every move such as, who you can see, what you will wear, who you can talk too, why you are taking so long while out of their control.

In a relationship. Your partner may try to manipulate your emotions to get you to change your mind. This could be from having sex or it can be anything else you may choose to do that they want to manipulate and control. When someone uses their emotions deliberately to try and change your mindset and convince you to do what they want, that’s coercion.

How can you tell if your partner is controlling? There are signs to look out for like they will try to undermine your confidence, put you down in private or public focus, and emphasize your flaws making you feel self-conscious about what you say or do. A controlling partner will be adamant that their emotions are your fault. So you are to blame for everything.

There were 17,616 offences of coercive control recorded by the police in the year ending March 2019, compared with 9,053 in the year ending March 2018. (ONS, 2019).


Is done to make a person question their own reality. An abuser will control a person by twisting their sense of reality. For instance, your partner has been abusive towards you then denying that it ever happened. They can also manipulate you into feeling you are mentally unstable, unfit or sensitive. Gas lighting is a form of manipulation that often occurs in abusive relationships, it is emotional abuse and they are bullies that make you question yourself, your judgment, and your reality. This can be overwhelming and make you feel your losing your mind and feeling unsure all the time questioning everything.

How do you know if this is happening to you?

Some common examples of coercive behaviour are:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
  • 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
  • Controlling your finances
  • Making threats or intimidating you


Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2019) Domestic abuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2019. Published online: ONS

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