Dec 1, In my relationship, I experienced all but a few of the above signs of coercive control. He had been married before and was a father to two young children. I had always wanted to study psychology, so I applied to the Open. Jun 26, Conclusion: The sexual coercion of women by a spouse or cohabitant is associated with acts of psychological and physical violence. Sexual. Jul 24, Coercive control is defined as ongoing psychological behaviour, list the most common examples of coercive control in abusive relationships.
Gaslighting: How can you tell whether your partner is emotionally abusive or controlling?
If I said no, I was having an affair. The superior, entitled and adversarial attitudes of their partners allowed the existence of double standards and double binds within the relationship and at the same time denied the women any empathy for the way they were silenced and disadvantaged by them.
This is represented by the third circle of the model. Behavioural style The attitudinal style described above created adversarial communication and behaviour patterns irrespective of whether the participants had experienced any physical violence from their partner.
The behavioural style included three main types of response to their boundaries or needs. Their partners would refuse the verbal or behavioural engagement that would enable an egalitarian relationship and facilitate clear boundaries.
For example, the women described how their partners would withdraw, refuse to communicate or withhold necessary information, empathy or reassurance, and generally avoid their responsibilities to the women: He would quietly walk out or turn the music up Veronica, P2. Such oppositional behaviour was achieved by a wide range of behaviours including the use of self-pity, a focus on their own distress and sense of victimisation at the expense of understanding the situation the women found themselves in, or the use of charm, deflection and blame in order to win and to assert that they were in the right.
These behaviours were guilt-inducing and obstructed the verbal or behavioural engagement characteristic of an egalitarian relationship. Penny experienced persistent physical violence in the relationship but was successfully obstructed from being able to challenge his behaviour or taking steps to leave with guilt-inducing behaviour: There were also behaviours which simply obstructed the women from achieving what they hoped for because their partners did not support it: I wanted to go back to school and finish my final year … because it meant I would not be home for three days a week.
The third type of response by their partners was the more overt communication and behaviour patterns which overpowered the women and their attempts to negotiate or maintain healthy boundaries. They were used by their partners to force the upper hand and ensure the women remained obedient and accommodating. Tactics included the use of verbal and physical intimidation through the use of indirect and direct threats, overt deception, deprivation or restriction, and could include physical force or sexual assault.
An experience common to all participants was of being physically or verbally threatened or intimidated. Lola Lucia and Sharni expressed the underlying fear they felt: I really did believe he would kill me and the kids Lola Lucia, N. I asked him to leave.
He threatened to kill all of us and set the house on fire. I was very scared Sharni, P2. The behavioural style of their partners disabled the ability of the participants to negotiate or maintain good boundaries within the relationship. All three boundary violations were highly interwoven rather than linear and governed the entire relationship.
They played out in such varying and quick-changing combinations that it was very difficult for the women to comprehend let alone respond to.
This is well explained by Sebrina: Where can I set good boundaries without being repercussed …? I avoid doing things that might make him hit the roof … because he gets so spiteful, so cruel and mean … I was a bit afraid he might hurt me to get the insurance Sebrina, P2. A level of fear and trepidation was common to all the women from not knowing how their partners might retaliate. Of the thirty women interviewed, eight were left by their partner for other women.
The relationship came to an end for the other twenty-two women after a series of defining moments such as helpful interventions or finding concrete evidence of duplicity. The final circle of the model conveys that the attitudinal and behavioural stance of their partners occurred within their physical and sexual relationship, their economic and social arrangements, their communication patterns and in the way their partner publically portrayed them.
A forthcoming article describes the similarity of these dynamics to colonisation and explores domestic violence as a process of interpersonal colonisation which the Western legal system unwittingly supports post separation at the expense of women and children.
Almeida and Durkin clearly describe domestic violence as an array of tactics that operate in a patterned, chronic, controlling and entrapping manner along a continuum and in concert with one another. Bancroft and Silverman explain from their work with men that their overarching attitudinal characteristics of entitlement and superiority lead to a belief that one has special rights and privileges without accompanying reciprocal responsibilities. They feared standing up to their partners because of the likelihood of hostility and retaliation.
The range of overpowering boundary violations, such as threats, intimidation, force and violence illustrated in the data in this study, are socially recognised as abusive and are well documented by researchers such as KirkwoodStark and Johnson All acts involving psychological violence, such as dominance or control and emotional or verbal abuse are associated with sexual coercion.
Thus, sexual coercion in marriage or cohabitating relationships represents a type of violence that is difficult to define as episodic violence Episodic violence refers to situational anger in equal relationships. Intimate terrorism occurs where one party is systematically violent and controlling.
Systematic violence means that many different types of violence occur in parallel and that actions are repeated. Insecurity is therefore a major feature in the lives of victims of violence. Violent acts that are part of a recurring pattern over time have a major impact on the health of the victims. Documentation of various types of acts of violence is vital in the context of criminal justice Sexual coercion makes it difficult to hold down a job Our study shows that sexual coercion is associated with actions that make it difficult to stay in paid employment.
For example, the partner prevents the woman from getting to work on time or repeatedly fails to collect their children from nursery.
Women’s experiences of Domestic Violence and Abuse
They do not let the woman participate in social activities at work and become more and more jealous and critical. Sexual coercion is also associated with fear that the partner will pay a visit to the woman at work. Our study shows that sexual coercion is associated with actions that make it difficult to stay in paid employment.
The correlation between intimate partner violence and difficulties staying in paid employment is not well documented in previous studies, and the findings of this study are therefore important.
Income throughout working life impacts on pensions, credit rating and activities in society as well as the experience of being recognised as an independent subject Isolation from friends as well as control of money and appearance are also associated with sexual violence by a husband or cohabitant in the study by Basile Physical violence is associated with sexual coercion In our study, all physical acts of violence are associated with sexual coercion.
Very serious violence, such as threats using a knife or other weapon, was reported by half of those who had experienced sexual coercion. Sexual coercion is therefore often associated with other violence in marriage or cohabiting relationships, which implies a more serious pattern of violence. Such patterns of violence can have consequences in terms of health and criminal justice. In a study of women at Norwegian refuge shelters 14sexual coercion by a partner was associated with other serious physical and psychological violence, such as violence against pregnant women, dominance and isolation, as well as biting, hair pulling and twisting of the arm Sexual coercion occurs in conjunction with many other types of violence and very serious violence, including in our population sample.
Our study is a cross-sectional study that does not examine causality or whether other violence occurs before or after sexual violence. However, other studies show that sexual coercion can take place after other forms of psychological or physical violence 23, Women describe how the man wants sex after an episode of violence, as a comfort when he regrets his actions and wants reconciliation, and as an escape from the disturbing fact that he has subjected his spouse or cohabitant to serious acts of violence.
In our study, all physical acts of violence are associated with sexual coercion. Women who experience violence also report that they believe the men enjoy this kind of sex, despite the women being coerced into it Whether the sexual acts can be defined as coercion, i.
In such cases, it is often the credibility of the victim versus that of the defendant that becomes the determining factor. Our study shows that none of those who have experienced sexual coercion have evaded other forms of dominance and isolation, emotional and verbal abuse or physical violence. According to WHO, there are norms that support violence against women, such as that a man has a right to assert power over a woman, and that sexual activity including rape is a marker of masculinity When sexual coercion occurs within marriage or cohabiting relationships, the acts are often not defined as rape or abuse, either by the victim or society in general, even though the law is clear on this point.
This may be due to the fact that, historically, women are often conditioned to think that a husband or cohabitant is entitled to have sex whenever they wish 23, Strengths and weaknesses of the study The response rate in our study is too low for the incidence of 5. However, Norwegian population surveys, which pose the same questions about sexual coercion, report a similar occurrence 5, A low response rate is less significant in studies examining associations between different variables.
Low response rates are not uncommon in studies of taboo subjects. Women exposed to the most serious violence rarely respond to surveys as they are afraid of reprisals by their partner. Violence in close relationships is usually hidden in our society and is associated with shame. The victims are often told that no one must know what is happening behind the four walls of their home.
The private sphere is also traditionally regarded as something that should not be revealed if it puts the family in a bad light. If the victim speaks out about the violence, the perpetrator also loses some of their control. The experience of losing control increases the risk of violence. One study shows that the more serious the violence that women had been exposed to, the less often they would respond to questionnaires, even when the man was in a separate room, but nearby The low response rate means that the study results must be interpreted with caution.
The strengths of the study are that the questions have previously been asked and validated and that the sample is random. Implications for practice Knowledge that sexual coercion occurs in conjunction with other intimate partner violence will have implications for nursing approaches to the victims of violence and in the work of detection or mapping, risk assessment, safety planning and forensic medicine documentation.
If a woman says that her husband refuses to let her study or work, it is important to ask if there are other ways he controls and asserts his power over her. Minor injuries like bruising, swelling and grazes can also be due to intimate partner violence. It is therefore important that nurses know the best way to identify partner violence. Knowledge of the correlation between psychological and physical violence and actions that make it difficult to stay in paid employment means that nurses must ask questions that include all forms of partner violence.
Likewise, identifying sexual coercion will trigger questions about other partner violence. In order for the women to feel taken care of, the way that healthcare personnel ask questions and the surrounding framework are essential elements 26, Safety planning and risk assessment, as well as secure and accurate record keeping, are also vital in the context of forensic medicine 27, In forensic medicine documentation and in connection with applications for victim compensation, records and other documentation in the form of photos and evidence are of great importance.
Although the forensic medicine declarations are mainly written by doctors in Norway, nurses can help to identify violence in close relationships and to ensure that it is communicated to the doctor and referral centre where relevant, which have good expertise in forensic medicine documentation Most victims of sexual and other violence by a partner need medical care and help to establish a life free from violence. Conclusion Sexual coercion by husbands or cohabitants against women occurs together with psychological and physical violence.
Sexual coercion also occurs in conjunction with actions that make it difficult for the women to stay in paid employment.
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