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For those who do not know coercive control is a term that kind of explains domestic abuse in a way that only those who have experienced it firsthand are going to really identify with. It is a pattern of behavior that someone carries out in order to really take away the freedom of their victims.

The term coercive control is something that was developed by Evan Stark who sought to explain the range of tactics used by those who are working to entrap their partners. While not always going hand in hand with physical violence psychological abuse on this level can truly be damning. Coercive control is like being taken hostage by someone you thought you loved, it is being forced into a world unlike the one you know and really made to feel quite afraid and confused.

Below I am going to go over some of the signs that this kind of thing could be happening in your relationship. These are things we all should be looking for and keeping an eye on. While laws on working to combat this kind of thing have been put in place in some countries getting the justice you deserve is not always as simple as it should be. If you’re being forced into a box, you need to cut ties and get away as quickly as you can.

12 Signs Of Coercive Control:

1. Your partner is always questioning your actions.

You can never just go and do something you want to do. You always have to explain yourself to your partner, and he or she is always questioning your every move.

2. You’re not allowed to see specific friends of yours.

Your significant other has literally cut you off from people who matter to you. He or she knows when someone is being suspicions and will be quick to get rid of that person so that you will fall more under his or her spell. If you’re spending too much time with someone else this person will make sure to put you in the position where you have to choose between the two of them.

3. Your privacy is constantly being invaded on.

If your lover is always crossing your boundaries he or she is doing it for a reason. This is how they are going to gain more control over you. The more they cross the further back your boundaries will draw, and eventually, you will have no privacy at all.

4. You’re always on a time limit when out with friends or family.

If your partner is telling you how long you can stay out of the house and where you can and cannot go you have a serious problem before you. You are a human being, and you can go do what you want when you want. Your partner should not have such a hold on you.

5. You have restricted access to your own finances.

If you are unable to even view your own bank account or are put on an allowance of some sort when you’re working for your money you need to get out of the situation. Sure, there is nothing wrong with working together and planning out finances, but you need to be a part of that planning. You are not a toy!

6. You’re always being put down.

When it comes to coercive control your partner might talk down to you in public and tear you apart in private. He or she will call you worthless and always make you out to be useless. You are not the things that they say you are, you are so much better than they will ever admit.

7. You’re constantly being accused of cheating.

When someone is working to get more control over us they will come across as quite jealous because they are. This is not cute and it damn sure shouldn’t be happening. If your lover is constantly accusing you of things you’re not doing and wouldn’t even have time to do they are far too insecure to be with you. Sure, a little jealousy is fine but if he or she has eaten the whole damn cake of jealousy you should run for the hills.

8. Your partner is always trying to intimidate you.

When we are in a relationship with a toxic person chances are they’re going to do all they can to come across as intimidating. They want you to do the things they ask you to and do not want you to question them. Through intimidation, they can get this done quite easily.

9. You cannot wear what you want to wear.

When your significant other starts trying to control what you wear there is a line being crossed. You are your own person and should be able to express yourself. Sure, a little feedback here and there is fine but if he or she is refusing to allow you out of the house in your current outfit, you need to change lovers not outfits.

10. Your partner threatens to reveal private things about you.

Far too often we allow the people closest to us to use our secrets and insecurities against us. When someone tries to threaten to reveal private things to others we should not allow them to gain more control over us. While it might be hard to get through, those people do not deserve the satisfaction they are gaining from being able to keep you under their wing.

11. Your partner literally tracks you.

Don’t allow your partner to literally track you. Again, you are your own person and free to live your life. You are not property and do not have to report back to anyone about where you are or what you’re doing.

12. You’re forced to do things a specific way for fear of angering your partner.

Coercive control is all about as it sounds, control. Do not allow someone to force you to play by the rules they’ve made up. A relationship is a partnership, both sides get a say in things. You matter and so does your opinion. You should never be afraid of the person you love.

When your partner treats you like property and refuses to allow you to be yourself you should get out of the situation as soon as possible. The longer the things listed above go on the more downward things will spiral. Coercive control is something that takes everything away from you and leaves you without a sense of self. No one deserves to deal with that kind of abuse.