Coercive Control Essay

Cheap Custom Writing Service

Coercive control involves the use of abusive behaviors to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. These tactics are used frequently in daily interactions in an attempt to control the behaviors of the partner. Physical and sexual violence, or the potential for it, are typically used only occasionally to reinforce and add power to the emotional abuse. This is achieved by instilling fear in the survivor of the abuse and escalating the abuse when the emotional tactics are not achieving the desired goals.

The concept of coercive control was initially introduced by the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in the form of the power and control wheel. This model identifies eight categories of emotional and psychological behaviors, including (1) intimidation, including threatening looks and gestures; (2) emotional abuse, such as criticism and humiliation; (3) isolation, which involves limiting contact with others; (4) minimizing or denying the abuse or blaming the survivor for the perpetrator’s abusive behavior; (5) using the children, including threatening to take or hurt children or involving them in the abuse; (6) using social privilege, such as patriarchy, racism, homophobia, or other forms of oppression; (7) coercion and threats; and (8) economic abuse, involving controlling or limiting access to resources.

Although physical violence is more overt and obviously objectionable, some research indicates that intimate partner violence survivors report that the behaviors involved in coercive control are more emotionally harmful than physical violence. These sometimes subtle behaviors are more difficult to detect and prove, and may appear to be more forgivable to those who do not understand the dynamics and motivations of coercive control.

Although legal definitions of intimate partner violence focus almost exclusively on physical forms of violence, most definitions make the distinction that intimate partner violence involves more than a onetime incident of violence. Coercive control is central to the definition of intimate partner violence.

This concept has also been used in the development of Johnson’s and others’ typologies of violence, which are useful in determining appropriate intervention. For example, intimate terrorism is defined as a relationship in which one partner is the primary aggressor and is both violent and controlling. Some research has indicated that in heterosexual relationships, the male is most often the primary aggressor. Other forms of violent relationships include mutual violent control, in which both partners are physically violent and use coercive control; common couple violence, in which both partners use violence but not coercive control; and violent resistance, in which physical violence is perpetrated by the partner who has historically been the victim. This violence is perpetrated in response to the violence and controlling behavior of the primary aggressor.


  1. Johnson, M. P. (2001). Conflict and control: Symmetry and asymmetry in intimate partner violence. In A. Booth & A. C. Crouter (Eds.), Couples in conflict (pp. 95–104). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  2. Osthoff, S. (2002). But Gertrude, I beg to differ, a hit is not a hit is not a hit. Violence Against Women, 8, 1521–1544.
  3. Pence, E., & Paymar, M. (1983). Education groups for men who batter: The Duluth model. New York: Springer.

This example Coercive Control Essay is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic please use our writing services. offers reliable custom essay writing services that can help you to receive high grades and impress your professors with the quality of each essay or research paper you hand in.

See also:


Always on-time


100% Confidentiality

Special offer!