Coercive control is a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand domestic abuse as more than a “fight”. It is a pattern of behaviour which 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 which is violated but also their human rights.
Traditionally, domestic violence has been understood to be an incident or series of incidents of physical violence perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner. Indeed, sometimes it is understood to be a fight between partners.
In Scotland, instead of using the term domestic violence, we use the phrase domestic abuse in order to emphasise that it is not about fights, that abuse is on-going and that it comprises much more than physical violence. This is not to say that verbal and/or physical fights do not take place between partners, but it is important to…
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