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Posted on January 31, 2017 in Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence – Common Tactics of Control

The state of Arizona received 28,546 domestic violence hotline and information/referral calls in 2016 and provided 283,170 emergency shelter nights to adults and children. These staggering numbers point to an urgent need to raise awareness about domestic violence in the state. Domestic violence is a constant problem around the country that leads to thousands of physical injuries, emotional damages, and violence-related deaths every year. The abuser will usually attempt to control the victim through various different tactics including isolation from family, using children as leverage, and be stalking. These tactics are designed to control the victim and make them feel helpless. If you or a loved one has been a victim of this situation, contact our Phoenix domestic violence attorneys for help.

Domestic Violence Control Tactics

Learning common tactics of control can help you recognize and prevent a domestic violence situation. Below are the most common strategies an abuser uses on a domestic violence victim.

Isolate the Victim

Isolation is one of the greatest tools a perpetrator of domestic violence can use against a victim. A perpetrator will often cut the victim off from supportive family and friends, isolating him or her from society. The perpetrator’s reasons for doing so might be “out of love” or because they “want to be with you all the time.” These controlling phrases are red flags for control in an unhealthy relationship. A batterer’s intent is to control his or her victims at all times and cut them off from supportive people who may question controlling, suspicious, or violent actions.

Forms of isolation include forbidding the victim to see his or her friends and family, refusing telephone service, cutting off means of transportation, and moving residences often. A perpetrator might criticize a victim’s friends and family, and harass a victim about them so much that it’s easier for the person to just give in and cut off ties with loved ones. A batterer might tell lies about a victim to others in the community, including neighbors, employers, and friends, telling them a victim is a liar or “crazy.” Perpetrators may also use threats, coercion, or force to isolate victims. With no support system or information available to them, victims will often blindly believe what perpetrators say.

Use the Children

More than half of female victims of domestic violence live in households with children 12 years old and younger. In a domestic violence situation involving children, an abuser might use the children to harm or control the victim. For example, a batterer might threaten to harm the children if the victim doesn’t do as he or she says. A batterer might punish children as a way to hurt the victim, including acts of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. He or she might also use children as spies to report on the victim’s activities. An abuser might also kidnap the children or fight to gain legal custody of them, and then use visitation as a way to harass the victim.

Damage Property and Attack Pets

It is common for a domestic violence abuser to take out his or her aggression on property or pets as a means of controlling or intimidating the victim. A batterer might punch holes through walls, destroy property the victim loves, throw objects at the victim, or pound on tables – then say something such as, “Look at what you made me do.” This is a method of controlling the victim and teaching the victim that his/her actions directly caused the violent reaction. An abuser might also threaten to harm, or kill pets as a way to harass or threaten a victim.

Stalk the Victim

Stalking is a form of harassment that often goes hand-in-hand with domestic violence. Abusers may become obsessed with controlling their victims; so much so that they take to stalking, spying on, and following the victim’s every move. An abuser might do this as a way to threaten, scare, or intimidate the victim. Stalking may also be a means to find out if the victim is doing anything the abuser doesn’t want him or her to, such as talking with friends and family, going online to research domestic violence, or calling someone for help.

How Orent Law Can Help

A combination of these domestic violence control tactics is often used to corner the victim into feeling helpless. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, seek the help of a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.