Hey there, and welcome back to this discussion about coerce control, what it means, and how to recognize when it’s happening. As we mentioned in the previous article, coercive control is a form of partner abuse, usually used by one spouse to control and manipulate another. Previously we shared the first three most common ways that an abusive partner uses coercive methods to control their victims. Moving on, we’d like to wrap up with the last three.
Make sure you get the help you need for a better future
It’s important to remember at this point that if this sounds suspiciously like your relationship, you may want to consider seeking out professional help. Either to help you set boundaries and stick to them in an effort to forge a healthier future with your partner, or a divorce attorney to help you get out. In some cases, a manipulative partner can be helped to see that their approach to relationships is wrong, and they can be encouraged to make changes. But not in every case. Only you can decide if this is a relationship worth working to save, or an unhealthy trap you need to escape from.
How does someone use coercive control to abuse a partner?
Controlling partners and spouses will use just about any method to keep their victims under their control, and there are few better tools in the world to achieve this goal than money. Almost anything you want to do involves money these days, so not having access to it, and not having enough, is a simple way to limit your access to freedom and autonomy. In situations where someone is being coercively controlled, their abuser may track how they spend every penny, or put them on a tight budget that only covers the basics and doesn’t allow for any leftovers. Or they may simply not allow them access to finances at all, hiding bank account info from them and denying them a debit or credit card.
Monitoring activities can take a lot of forms. But however you slice that pie, it’s spying, and only happens in relationships where trust has been broken, or being watched is a form of coercive control. In some situations the abusive spouse will ask for an accounting of where you’ve been, what you did, and who you were with. Sometimes, however, it becomes even more controlling than that, and recording devices are used to listen in on your conversations. Or tracking devices are installed on your car to keep tabs on where you’ve been. On occasion, spyware is installed on the victim’s phone which gives their abuser access to their private data.
Using Children as Weapons
Although we left this one till last, it certainly isn’t the least likely tool an abuser would use to control their victim in a relationship. By either threatening to harm the children, or threatening to falsely accuse the victim of harming or neglecting the children, someone can coercively control their spouse or partner. This is a fear tactic. Sometimes the abuser doesn’t intend to carry out the threats, they simply want to frighten their spouse into compliance. However, even idle threats are unacceptable and manipulative.
You don’t have to stay in a toxic relationship. You can leave.
Here at The Kronzek Firm, we understand that this is easier said than done. We know the level of fear and control makes leaving an abusive spouse very challenging. You will need support, good legal advice, and lots of help. And that’s what we’re here for. This is going to be very difficult, and potentially very scary. But with our team of skilled family law attorneys on your side, you won’t be alone, and your rights and interests will be well protected. If you need to end an abusive marriage and move on, call 866 766 5245 right now. We’re available round the clock to help you.