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From love bombing to isolation, the red flags for coercive control can be dangerously difficult to spot before abuse escalates


With several Australian jurisdictions looking at introducing laws against coercive control, we need to get better at identifying and understanding the insidious pattern of behaviour many perpetrators of domestic abuse use to dominate and entrap victims. 

As a psychologist who has spent two decades working with victims, my experience has taught me how we too often fail to understand it, the red flags we ignore — and critical to prevention is that physical violence often begins with a clear pattern of emotional and psychological disarming of victims prior to this escalation.

As the family of Hannah Clarke said after she and her three children were burnt alive by her ex-husband: “Hannah never thought it was abuse because he never hit her.” Crucially, however, the family had spotted many red flags for coercive control before she was murdered.  Read more here…

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