Coercive control is a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand abuse as more than a “fight”. It is a pattern of behaviour that seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self. It is not just women’s bodily integrity that is violated but also their human rights. It seeks to explain the repeated, ongoing, and intentional control tactics used by perpetrators and the impact of those actions on survivors. Those tactics may be physical, sexual, economic, psychological, legal, institutional, or all of the above.
Some examples of coercive control are:
- unreasonable and non-negotiable demands;
- stalking and surveillance;
- restricting daily activities;
- manipulation through minimization, denial, lies, promises;
- controlling access to information and services;
- threats and negative consequences for non-compliance.