Updated: Jun 28, 2022
She could be your server
With you, she’s pleasant and friendly. At home, she keeps to herself.
She loves being around people all day, but he doesn’t like it when she has friends over.
She looks fantastic in that dress, but he didn’t let her leave the house in the one she was wearing before.
She treats you like you’re family, but she can’t talk to her mom on the phone without him listening in.
So she hides. Because who is left for her to tell?
Intimidation is a factor present in every domestic abuse situation as abusers often utilize it as a method of control over their partner. The resulting fear and doubt created in their partner is a form of coercive control which enables abusers to maintain control over their partners even when they are not present physically.
Even if the abuse is never physical, the use of fear to coerce the behaviour of a partner constitutes domestic abuse. Coercive control often comes in the form of “If you don’t (behaviour), then I will (threat)”, but it can often come in more subtle ways as well.
Examples of intimidation include threatening looks or gestures, destroying or confiscating property, abuse or mistreatment of pets, displaying weapons or threatening their use, threats of violence and harm to children or other loved ones, restricting or monitoring contact with friends and family, and threats of financial repercussions such as limiting access to funds for groceries and other essentials or not paying for necessary medical treatments.
Because emotional abuse is hard to identify, many of the woman’s friends and family may not be able to recognize the behaviour as being a result of abuse but rather label it as being “distant” or “focusing on the new relationship”. In reality, the woman is being intimidated in her private life into behaving according to her partner’s wishes.
And it is Hidden in Plain Sight.
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