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Domestic Violence – Coercive Control

PostedMay 22, 2024

Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse characterised by patterns of manipulative, controlling behaviours that are used to dominate, intimidate, and manipulate a partner or family member. While traditionally viewed as a crime predominantly affecting women, it is essential to recognise that men can also be victims of coercive control. Despite societal stereotypes and stigma, men can find themselves trapped in abusive relationships where they are subjected to psychological, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse.

The dynamics of coercive control can be subtle, making it challenging for outsiders to detect and for victims to acknowledge. For men, societal expectations of masculinity can further complicate their ability to recognise and seek help for such abuse. Men may feel ashamed, emasculated, or fear being ridiculed for admitting vulnerability or seeking assistance in abusive situations. This leads to underreporting and a lack of support for male victims of coercive control.

One common misconception is that physical violence is a prerequisite for abuse to be recognised as coercive control. In reality, coercive control often operates through psychological manipulation, isolation, financial control, and other forms of emotional abuse, creating a pervasive atmosphere of fear and dependency. Men subjected to such tactics may find their freedom, autonomy, and sense of self gradually eroded over time, leaving them feeling trapped and powerless in their relationships.

Recognising and addressing coercive control against men requires a shift in societal attitudes and a more inclusive approach to supporting victims of domestic abuse. Public awareness campaigns, education programs, and training for professionals in recognising and responding to male victims are crucial steps in breaking the silence and stigma surrounding this issue. Speaking out, seeking help, and accessing support from professionals, suitably trained therapists, family and friends is encouraged.

Coercive control is a pervasive form of abuse that can affect anyone, regardless of gender. By raising awareness, challenging stereotypes, and providing tailored support services, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society that recognises and addresses the needs of all victims of domestic abuse, including men. It is time to shine a light on men as victims of coercive control and empower them to seek help, heal, and break free from abusive relationships.

Check out our other blogs for further information, or you may be interested in completing our course on Domestic Violence. Alternatively, you may wish to speak with one of our consultants to learn more about how we can support you.

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