Lesson Seventeen. Coercive Control

Coercive control is a form of power and control that is not considered to be criminal in many states and countries.  The UK, Australia, Kentucky,  and Oklahoma do have something on the books; yet coercive control is difficult to prove — because it is hidden.

Coercive control can be exhibited through financial, sexual, emotional, psychological,  and verbal means.  Coercive control can happen at work, in the courts, and in personal lives.

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What follows is a note of encouragement that was written for a friend who was experiencing financial coercive control.

The way to end coercive control?  #SpeakUp, find allies, and change policies.

*****

A couple years ago, I ran out of sick leave and personal leave. Due to a family situation, I had to flex my schedule (apparently, I was understanding that my administrator had allowed me to do so, but my adminstrator was not actually in agreement), so an hour was chipped off of every work day, and when things came to a head and I had to leave town for several days, my paycheck was something around $88. I cried. And I was mad.

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I understand the pain and suffering and stress of not having money because of the system.

On a personal note, I owe close to $16,000 to a lawyer for trying to protect a vulnerable person, and lost the case because policies didn’t (and don’t) exist that make coercive control a crime. And, the lawyer was intimidated and unable to argue the case.

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Current statutes indicate that if the emotional, physical, or mental well-being of a vulnerable person is endangered, that vulnerable person will be removed from the home. In spite of self-harm, and multiple suicide attempts by the vulnerable person, we were unable to remove the vulnerable person from the situation, due to policies that allow victims to be cross-examined by their abusers, and re-victimized. There was no access to victim advocates (because those are only available to criminal cases)…

I understand running out of sick days. I understand the stress, crisis triggers, and PTSD that can come to fruition.

It sucks.

Systemic abuse in personal relationships and work relationships exist. The system has far too many gaps to break us out of the cycle. Until we bridge those gaps, we will keep getting what we’ve got.

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But we should not despair. There is hope. This is why I #speakup and run for offices that can affect policy and budget change. Not to be “in control”, but to *give* control.

Si, se puede! (Wait… was that appropriation? Awwwww, shucks. Peut etre….) 😉

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Love and strength to you. We do what we can. We do the best that we can.

Find the way that you can continue the fight. You got this!

P.S. That might mean taking self-care. Stay hydrated, my friend!

❤ ❤ ❤


“Building relationships and bridging gaps through sharing stories and wisdom .”


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


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