abuse and mental health

Psychological Abuse Part 1

What is psychological abuse and coercive control?

Coercive control or controlling behaviour became an offence in December 2015.? According to the Home Office: Coercive or controlling behaviour does not relate to a single incident, it is a purposeful pattern of incidents that occur over time in order for one individual to exert power, control or coercion over another.

The Office of National Statistics at end of March 2018 reported that:

“An estimated 2.0 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.3 million women, 695,000 men).? The police recorded 599,549 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2018. This was an increase of 23% from the previous year. This in part reflects police forces improving their identification and recording of domestic abuse incidents as crimes and an increased willingness by victims to come forward.”


I didn’t see it at first . . .

Abuse can be very gradual and can often take place over a period of years. Almost all victims say “I didn’t see it at first” and it can happen in all forms of intimate relationships.

Manifestations of psychological abuse include:

  • Bullying
  • Verbal abuse — including shouting or being shouted at in front of others
  • Name calling — calling a person mad, calling a person mad in front of others, especially children
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Unspoken threats
  • Restricting access to children
  • Ignoring — sometimes called “stonewalling”
  • Dismissing
  • Undermining
  • Degradation of self-confidence — comments on how you dress or how you look
  • Intelligence questioned or undermined
  • Lying
  • Causing the other person to doubt their reality by throwing in positive reinforcement to confuse
  • Aligning others against you
  • Monitoring activities and behaviour
  • Withholding access to money
  • Withholding emotional connection

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