Coercive control in a domestic violence matter

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | Divorce, Domestic Violence |

No relationship is perfect; however, relationships should be free of certain things, such as abuse and mistreatment. Unfortunately, these negative events can enter a relationship or marriage in New Hampshire and elsewhere, often sparking a divorce. While it may be the reason for divorce, domestic violence could greatly impact the outcome of a divorce, especially when children are involved.

Defining domestic violence

Over the past several years, the idea and understanding of domestic violence and abuse has changed and evolved. It no longer is a situation that involves physical violence or sexual assault. The idea of control has entered the definition. Specifically, it now considers behavior that is controlling and isolating.

This is termed coercive control. It is considered to be a steppingstone to violence, and it now considered to be criminally abusive on its own. By broadening the definition, activists hope to aid victims in their efforts to reclaim their autonomy and even stop and catch perpetrators before things get even worse.

What is coercive control?

As more and more states are now including coercive control in the definition or passing laws that specifically allow the introduction of evidence of coercive control for proof of domestic violence in family court, it is important to understand what this encompasses. Researchers describe this type of abuse to include acts of creeping isolation, entrapment, denigration, financial restrictions as well as threats of emotional and physical harm to the individual, children or pets. These acts are used to strip the victim of power

The aftermath of domestic violence can be gruesome, but there is a future for spouses that escape an abusive marriage. Not only can a spouse use evidence of domestic violence when seeking a certain divorce settlement, this evidence could help prove the need for a protective order, assist with a criminal action and even ensure family law matters are resolved appropriately.