“I was naive in thinking, ‘I divorced this man, he is out of my life.'”
This study identified 9 different ways a spouse might continue to control the other spouse after divorce. We are not surprised at the findings. “Domestic violence” is often better described as the use of “power and control”, an effort by one person to try and control another person. The reasons why someone would want to try and control another are complex and vary in each case. The primary concerns for most clients is protecting themself and their children from the ongoing emotional abuse. The study only looked at female victims, but in our experience, both men and women are able to engage in this type of abuse, although the type of abuse often differs by gender. The study found that “many women” simply give up everything simply to get out. For some clients, men and women, “walking away” is a reasonable option, and even a best option in some cases. For clients not willing to simply walk away, we use a variety of approaches and techniques to find alternate solutions.
“I Was Naive in Thinking, ‘I Divorced This Man, He Is Out of My Life’”: A Qualitative Exploration of Post-Separation Power and Control Tactics Experienced by Women
Michelle L. Toews, Autumn M. Bermea
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol 32, Issue 14, 2017
First Published June 18, 2015
The purpose of this study was to explore women’s perceptions of the power and control tactics used by their former husbands post-separation. A total of 22 in-depth interviews with divorced mothers who reported male-initiated partner abuse (psychological and/or physical) during and/or after their marriages were analyzed. The most common themes to emerge from the narratives were, in order of prevalence, as follows: Using the Children; Using Threats, Harassment, and Intimidation; Emotional Abuse; Economic Abuse; “Stuff to Try to Hurt Me”; Disrupting Her Relationships With the Children; Using the System; and Physical Violence. We also found that the violent and coercive behaviors men used during the marriage continued to influence the women’s perceptions of the power and control their former husbands had over them post-separation. As a result, many of the women described how they gave up everything just to get out of their abusive marriages.