• Laura McConnell

Understanding Coercive Control

Updated: May 27, 2020

One of the topics of conversation with people (usually women , occasionally men) is 'What is it about The Truth which isnt working for me?'.


When women first consider leaving The Truth, it is often the quality of their relationships, and the way they feel they have been treated which first prompts them to ask questions, and to feel uneasy.


Many times in those relationships , whether with husbands or wider family & Truth members, there are behaviours evident which can be considered 'coercive control'.


I thought I'd create a blog with some materials around coercive control, to help understand what it might be that doesnt sit right about many relationships within The Truth.


I encourage you to Google 'coercive control', and think about the 11 points below in the context of The Truth:


Here are some indicators of coercive control in action:

1. Silent Treatment;

2. Black + White thinking, with little room for debate;

3. Trolling;

4. Raising the bar, and never being satisfied with outcomes;

5. Gaslighting and Lying;

6. Double Standards;

7. Changing the subject when difficult subjects or questions are raised;

8. Excessive use of guilt to control behaviours;

9. Suicide Threats, or threats to harm

10. Monitoring clothing, hair & general physical appearance;

11. Preocupation with 'keeping up appearances'


When used in domestic relationships, there is acceptance that these behaviours amount to Family/Domestic violence. These same behaviours are evident in faith groups such as The Truth.


In my experience these behaviours become Culture - and I regard The Truth to have a coercive and abusive culture. These same behaviours become imbedded into family /friend groups - often leaving individuals with mental health issues, and feeling they are crazy for not feeling 'right' about the relationships.


We all know about physical violence, but increasingly we're being made aware of the impacts of mental and spirtual abuse. I believe the impacts on victims of coercive control is as insidious and damaging as physical abuse. Many of the people I speak with feel they've experienced PTSD after leaving The Truth. Much of that is caused by behaviours under those 11 dot points above.


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