Imagine finally being free from your abusive partner, only to find he has turned his emotional and psychological abuse on to the children.
Did you know that after you separate from your partner, they can still use coercive control against your children?
Defining Coercive Control
What is coercive control you say? Well, coercive control erodes your confidence and self-determination. It can include violence, threats, intimidation, stalking, monitoring, emotional abuse and manipulation, interwoven with periods of seemingly ‘caring’ and ‘indulgent’ behaviour as part of the overall abuse.
In my work with women and children I often hear women say: “He wouldn’t hurt the children, like he hurt me”.
Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Fathers/father figures can use the same tactics of coercive control against their children that they use against their ex-partners.
Children and Coercive Control
Did you know that children experience coercive control in the same ways as adults?
Coercive control can harm children and young people emotionally/psychologically, physically, socially and educationally. Children are often left feeling very confused and afraid.
If you experience any of the following behaviours then you or your children are still being psychologically abused:
- Disrupting your relationships with the children;
- Undermining your ability to parent;
- Discrediting you as a parent;
- Harassment or intimidation;
- Threatening to kill themselves.
Do your Children have a Safety Plan?
Anyone who experiences family violence should have a safety plan no matter what age. Do you have one? Remember if you are in immediate danger call 000. Other helpful resources are 1800respect and Kids Helpline.
Author: Maree Stevens, BAdVocEd; GCert Sp Ed; M SocWk; M HumServ; GDipCouns; GCert MentalHlthPrac.
Maree is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with several years’ experience working with children, young people and their families impacted by Family and Domestic Violence. Maree’s work is trauma informed and person centred, and she is able to provide psychological counselling to young children from age 5 years, as well as to teens and adults.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.