Coercive Control and Protection Orders: What You Need to Know

May 21, 2023 2:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hands,Are,Chained,In,Chains,Isolated,On,Black,BackgroundCoercive Control and Protection Orders: What You Need to Know

Coercive control is a pattern of behavior that can be used by an individual to intimidate or manipulate their partner, typically in an intimate relationship. The victim of coercive control may feel trapped, isolated, and powerless in their relationship. This type of abuse can be incredibly damaging and can take several different forms, including emotional, financial, and physical manipulation. As a result, many jurisdictions have developed protection orders to help safeguard victims of coercive control.

What is Coercive Control?

Coercive control is a form of domestic violence that typically involves an individual using a variety of tactics to control their partner. Examples of these tactics might include:

• Intimidation or threats

• Limiting the partner’s freedom to make their own choices

• Controlling access to finances or transportation

• Isolating the partner from friends and family

• Gaslighting (manipulating the victim to doubt their own perception of reality)

• Making unreasonable demands on the victim’s time or attention

Over time, these tactics of coercive control can strip the victim of their self-esteem and independence. They may feel helpless and alone, and may be reluctant to seek help or try to leave the relationship.

It is important to note that coercive control can occur in any type of intimate relationship, including those between married or cohabiting individuals, LGBTQ couples, and dating partners. Anyone can be a victim, regardless of their gender or age.

What is a Protection Order?

A protection order is a legal document that is designed to provide protection for victims of domestic violence or coercive control. In many jurisdictions, protection orders are available to individuals who have been threatened or subjected to domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or other forms of abuse.

A protection order can be obtained with the help of an attorney, or through self-help forms that are provided by the court. The order is usually put in place by a judge and is enforceable by law enforcement.

A protection order may include several different provisions, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some common provisions might include:

• An order for the abuser to stay away from the victim’s home, school, or workplace

• An order for the abuser to refrain from any further contact with the victim, whether in person or through electronic communication

• An order for the abuser to not possess or use firearms

• An order for the abuser to pay for the victim’s medical care, counseling, or other related expenses

If the abuser violates the protection order, they may be subject to criminal charges and penalties.

How Can a Protection Order Help Victims of Coercive Control?

For victims of coercive control, a protection order can be an important tool for regaining control over their lives and ensuring their safety. Here are some ways that a protection order can help:

• Provides a legal barrier between the victim and abuser

• Holds the abuser accountable for their actions

• Makes it easier for the victim to leave the relationship without fear of retribution

• Gives the victim a sense of empowerment and control

• Provides a clear legal path for seeking help and support

It is important to note that a protection order is not a panacea for victims of coercive control. There are many challenges associated with leaving an abusive relationship, including financial dependence, fear of retaliation, and emotional trauma. However, a protection order can be an important step towards regaining control and breaking free from the cycle of abuse.


Coercive control is a devastating form of abuse that can have a profound impact on the victim’s life. Fortunately, there are legal protections available for those who have experienced this type of abuse. If you are a victim of coercive control, it is important to seek help from a trusted professional, friend, or family member. You can also explore legal options for obtaining a protection order that can help safeguard your wellbeing and provide a pathway towards a healthier future. Remember, no one deserves to be subjected to coercive control, and there is help available for those who are in need.

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