Coercive Control in Children's and Mothers' Lives

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This book sets out to revolutionize our understanding of how children are affected by coercive-control-based domestic violence. It provides a new child-centered perspective, replacing the question “How are children affected by exposure to physical violence?” with an inquiry into how children are affected by perpetrators’ continuous actions of coercive control (actions that may, or may not, include physical violence), and what the road to recovery is like for children and mothers who have experienced coercive control. The focus is on the child and the mother as co-victims and co-survivors of behavior by the perpetrator (frequently, though not always, the child’s father). Children have rarely been recognized in this way as direct victims and survivors of domestic violence. Instead they have usually been viewed as suffering indirect harm through seeing, hearing, or being aware of the ill-treatment of their parent. Yet, in reality, coercive control pervades their entire world, as it does the world of their mother, profoundly altering their experience of life. Coercive control traps children and mothers together in a cage of control: and once able to separate from the perpetrator, children and mothers face new challenges together. This book charts, and systematically analyzes, the recoveries of children and mothers in getting free and building new lives. It highlights their journeys toward family lives based on mutual supportiveness, where all have influence, all are respected, and all have the space and autonomy they need to thrive.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages408
ISBN (Electronic) 9780190922245
ISBN (Print)9780190922214
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022

Publication series

Name Interpersonal Violence


  • child abuse
  • coercive control
  • domestic abuse
  • domestic violence
  • father
  • intimate partner violence
  • mother
  • Mother-child relationship
  • perpetrator
  • recovery


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