‘Coercive control:’ Domestic violence without the physical abuse

Angry psychopathIn an article in the New York Times, writer Abby Ellin explains the concept of “coercive control” a pattern of behavior in which one partner in a romantic relationship dominates his or her partner. She writes:

Coercive control describes an ongoing and multipronged strategy, with tactics that include manipulation, humiliation, isolation, financial abuse, stalking, gaslighting and sometimes physical or sexual abuse.

England and Wales have just passed a law making coercive or controlling behavior a form of domestic violence. The United States should do the same.

With coercive control, the abuse is psychological, on NYTimes.com.


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68 Comments on "‘Coercive control:’ Domestic violence without the physical abuse"

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Ok people’s I am so completely screwed!! I was reading the psycopath free book only to find I can’t even take the personality test! The Myers Briggs one I can’t answer the questions I don’t know. I literally don’t know who I am! That in itself has caused so much anxiety. Where it really doesn’t matter cuz I have done nothing but cry since 5:30 this morning. I know why I can’t answer the questions. Because I am a very literal person and if I answered the way I know I am. It would be a lie to who I am right now! I also can’t lie I am honest to a fault! How could I possibly recover by focusing on this person he created that I hate! I answer with who I was and want to be again and I am lieing!!

Hi Ladybugg, dont forget to breath!!

When you leave a sociopath and open up your mind from all the brain washing and abuse they did to you…it is normal to go into panic mode thinking you dont know who you are…Almost every victim of sociopathic abuse goes thru this emotional pain stage.


You are normal…you were thrusted into his dysfunctional world were he brain washed you, used gas lighting abuse, reward & punishment installed fear & phobia’s just like a cult leader does to a cult follower…you have escaped and now you are opening your mind up to the truth…It takes time to find yourself again. But you WILL return towards your old self but stronger!!!

it’s scary the emotions you are feeling right now but remember your hormones are all over the place because of the stress you were under during your relationship and now that you left and are finding out the truth..

How do I know you are not like your ex?

Because you show compassion, kindness, EMPATHY for others here on this site!!! Sociopaths do not show these towards others…they do not show empathy!!!

Please dont take that “Personality test”…instead just keep educating yourself on sociopathic abuse and how to spot one and related it to your ex. Keep going to your counselor and contact your local abuse center and GO to the free women group meetings. They will open your eyes to just how your ex manipulated you into doing things like him. But you are NOT like him…keep freeing your mind.

Keep looking at old photos of yourself & your family, share old stories with family & friends, go visit old spots like schools, places you went to before you meet your ex. This will help you to remember who you TRULY are!!

THE WAY YOU ARE FEELING IS NORMAL WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR EX SOCIOPATH….you start question who you are….YOU ARE NOT A SOCIOPATH like he is!! You are a good kind hearted normal person.

You are a normal person who got sucked into a sociopath hell.

Hugs to you!! 💜💜💜 When you start to panic put your hand on your heart and focus on your breathing it will help you to calm down and see that everything is going to be ok.

We are hear for you!! Take care.

How are you defining who you are? By what you do, or how you feel? By what others think of you?

I understand that you feel very insecure about yourself and who you are right now. Like Jan7 says, that is normal when under a spath’s spell. Spaths want their victims to feel that way because it helps them control their victims. Your ex probably worked very hard doing everything he could to diminish and dismantle your sense of self, your boundaries, your likes and dislikes, your goals, your values.

You will get back in touch with your inner strength and your sound mind. It sounds like your core values are intact. You are committed to honesty. That is a rare treasure, especially these days.

Thank you AnnettePK yes I am looking at who I have been lately because of him and to think his favorite thing to say was “I can’t make you feel or act anyway” and therapist say that to so I believed it! Bull dunkey!! His provoking and suggestions (trancing) what ever most certainly did cause out of the norm feelings and actions so a therapist can say that, but they better be sure they know what they are dealing with. This level of brain washing changes a person and yes they are doing it!
I have a good therapist now he says you never had these reactions before him right? No him… they will go away!! So I am feeling tons better today thank you all for your sweet compassionate words. Oh and You say honesty is a treasure he absolutly hated that I was honest. He use to say “you use the truth as a weapon” well honey if the truth feels like a weapon to you. You must not be happy with it! UNBEILEVABLE!!

That he found honesty threatening made me think of Ephesians 5:10-18. The first item of the Armor of God for the purpose of defending ourselves against the devil’s schemes (verse 6), is the Belt of Truth, (verse 14), that is honesty.

he always spoke with a forked tongue that is the scripture that kept running through my head “beware of those who speak with a forked tongue.” heard that over and over in my head!

those are some awesome scriptures too though I will keep them in mind thanks AnnettePK!!

Where is the ‘forked tongue’ verse? I’m not familiar with it.

I will find it I don’t have it memorized.😊

I searched for it, but couldn’t find it in the NKJV nor the KJV.

Psalm 64:2-3 expresses the concept.
“Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words,”

Actually I thought It was a scripture because when I heard it over and over again it was said the same! Beware of those who speak with a forked tongue.
I just did an Internet search on “Bible verses on warning against forked tongue” There are all sorts of lessons on it!
Apparently it is deeper then I thought and the Holy Spirit was trying to warn me! It actually is about people who hurt people and tear them down with their words and then turn around and claim to love God and know God!! Wow I am blown away right about now. I have not yet read the exact words but now I know why I constantly heard it! God was warning me!! Read on it! It also confirms this man was very evil as he pretended to be a believer! Yet he once told me “I don’t want to strive to be Christ like and never said I Did” if I find a actual scripture I will tell you I am reading😊 Thank you for asking me. I always just took it to mean someone that contradicts them self. Look up the search in quotations and read on it and you will be learning as I am what God was trying to say to me about this individual! I should have looked it up sooner! The words sounded like they were strait out of the bible so I just assumed I must have read it!


The best one I found wow was I in the presence of evil. I am blown away!!

Ok found an actual scripture with forked tongue in it psalms 98:1
Say’s it all I think….the forked tongue is literally the Devil’s tongue!

I relate to the passage in James about sweet and bitter waters from the same spring – if there’s bitter words, then the ‘sweet’ words are fake and mean nothing. When my ex psychopath contradicted himself, I would tell him that one of his statements has to be a lie.

I believe in a real spirit world, and the evil powers behind spath behavior. They choose to do what they do, and if one chooses wrong, evil spirits/demons will support it. Satan means ‘adversary’ and he is the enemy of everything and everyone good.

God understands spath behavior, and gives us the tools to resist and overcome it. Several of the psalms describe spath behavior and spath motivations very well.

Are you sure Psalm 98:1? I see this: “Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.”

Yes I am seeing that and they were the very same ones that reminded me of mine at the time and the verse I just gave you does not actually say that. What I read was actually what the lesson was teaching it to mean I was reading the lessons on forked tongue and it all disappeared! Phone went blank!! I was reading a really good one too!
Yes if I had a quarter for everytime I said “you can’t have it both ways so which is it?” A walking talking life of contradictions and yes I agree with you. I have learned allot about spiritual war fair and how to rebuke the Devil his Demons and break strongholds in the last year! My mother always said my ex was put here as a tool of Satan to destroy me! Have a blessed day hon my back is killing me!!

Sorry about your back! I’ll pray for healing for you.

Thank you!! I tried to sleep woke up panicking from nightmares all about him and not going over there! I was over there at the apartment complex he lives in in the dream. I was trying to dial his number on my phone and it would not work I kept hearing a dog barking in the phone, it was crazy!! By the end of the dream I was standing in the breeze way of his apartment screaming thinking I have to get all of this out of me…what a night mare!! I just wish I had never ever met him!! I am tired of the nightmares I am gonna do the hypnosis CD again! I swear when I have those nightmares it feels like I am in hell and can’t escape. It was just a dream I have to try and ground myself now!!

I hope you got some sleep even after the nightmare. Sounds disturbing.

I listened to the relaxation CD every night when I was ready to go to sleep. Sometimes I’d fall asleep before it was over. It took awhile for my brain to reprogram, but the positive changes were lasting. The relaxation suggestions are what I wanted to tell myself and what I know is true. All the negative things the spaths tell us about ourselves over and over are not true, but it still gets inside our mind.

Soooo true I thought I was soooo smart and I was picking up on what did not make sense but he was using those confusing arguments to plant things about me. like that I am jealous, argumentative, he would say that I was something every time he talked with word salad it stuck in my head and I did not even know it! I have listened to the CD during the day. I will try it if I have trouble sleeping. I slept great last night no night mares at all😊


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