Living in the world of the domestic violence perpetrator: negotiating the unreality of coercive control

Violence Against Women. 2010 Dec;16(12):1412-23. doi: 10.1177/1077801210389162.


This article considers how survivors of domestic violence negotiate the unreality of the world of the perpetrator to survive and the impact this has on their psychological well-being. Utilizing recent debates about coercive control and a reframing of domestic violence as a liberty crime, this article examines women's accounts of negotiating coercion and control. It presents data collected from oral history narrative interviews with women who have experienced domestic violence, as well as incidents of abuse recounted to the author while working with abused women, and reanalyzes those accounts in light of the theory of coercive control.

MeSH terms

  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Coercion*
  • Criminals*
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Freedom*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Narration
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Survival