Coercive control is a pattern of abuse that is used to insult, shame, degrade, control, punish and humiliate a person. It is also when force or threats are used to make someone do something they don’t want to or wouldn’t normally do.
Signs of coercive control include making it hard for you to see family or friends, telling you where you can and can’t go, constantly calling/texting whilst you’re out, controlling what you wear and who you see, stopping you from working, making you feel down about yourself and question your actions and responses (gaslighting).
“Love bombing” is a common tactic, where the abuser showers affection and attention upon you, sometimes with gifts, followed by controlling intimidating, manipulative and abusive behaviour. We call this the ‘cycle of abuse’. It’s confusing and used to exert power and control.
This kind of behavour can make you feel like you’re having to walk on eggshells, watching what you say or do around your partner/family member. It can make you feel isolated, confused, anxious and to blame for the abuse. It is not your fault.
Coercive control is a crime.