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REFRAMING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS COERCIVE CONTROL . Evan Stark, Ph.D , MSW Rutgers University-Newark. the italian woman henri matisse. Goals. Recognize the achievements and limits of the Domestic Violence Revolution – Reframe woman battering as Coercive Control

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reframing domestic violence as coercive control
REFRAMING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS COERCIVE CONTROL

Evan Stark, Ph.D, MSW

Rutgers University-Newark

the italian woman

henri matisse

goals
Goals

Recognize the achievements and limits of the Domestic Violence Revolution –

Reframe woman battering as Coercive Control

Appreciate what this means for intervention

2

slide7

Coercively Controlling Male Partner

Life on Three Planets

Domestic Violence:

Criminal Charges;

TRO-

CRIMINAL COURT

Planet I

Mother Failing to Protect

Child Protection

Planet 3

Contact

& Custody

FAMILY COURT

Planet 2

Adapted from Radford & Hester, 2006

‘Good Enough’ Father

slide8
The Domestic Violence Model

Incident Based

Violence Focused

Calculus of Harms

Intimate/Stranger Relationships

Focus solely on Victim/Perpetrator

- doesn’t fit women’s experience -

a discrete event
….a discrete event?

“repeated” 60-85%

89% of victims suffered previous assaults; 35% abused daily (Memphis)

Women who charged husbands average 35 prior assaults (Canada)

NCVS 25-30% serial abuse (more than l/wk)

7.l assaults/yr (London survey)

is domestic violence domestic
Is “domestic violence” domestic?

National/Medical Data

75-80% of victims are single, separated or divorced (NVCS; Stark et al. etc.)

Mass.

In a majority of DV arrests, men not living with victim

NYC CHILD WELFARE

3l.5% of victims living in the same household (Magen, et al.)

duration
Duration
  • If abused ever, 72% still at risk (Stark & Flitcraft, l996)
  • av. 7.3 yrs. In hospital
  • Av. In population 5.5 years (Campbell)
p ixd
P=IxD
  • 14.6% of women in last 5 yrs. (prevalence)
  • Average time 5.5 - 7.3 yrs
  • Incidence 2-3% (14-21/100)
  • 79-86 of every l00 cases are ongoing
  • An estimated l5 million women in the U.S.
  • MORE LIKE HIV/AIDS THAN THE FLU
rape and battering
RAPE AND BATTERING

AMONG RAPE VICTIMS

AMONG BATTERED WOMEN

27% FORCED TO HAVE SEX AGAINST THEIR WILL OFTEN OR “ALL THE TIME.”

24% REPORTED BEING FORCED TO ENGAGE IN ANAL SEX AT LEAST ONCE (Davies et al. 2006)

  • 34% ARE RAPED BY PARTNERS OR FORMER PARTNERS
  • 52% OF RAPE VICTIMS

> 30

(Stark & Flitcraft, l996)

health consequences
Health Consequences

Alcohol Abuse

Drug Abuse

Suicide Attempts

Mental Illness

Child Abuse

Homelessness

HIV

slide17
But……………

The vast majority of women who are battered do not experience these problems

women and children s reality
Women and Children’s Reality

“Ongoing”

Rape and DV fall on continuum

Cumulative effect

Multiple tactics

Crosses Social Space

“Help” often makes things worse

“Violence isn’t the worst part.”

when abuse is viewed through the violent incident framework
When Abuse is Viewed through the Violent Incident Framework:

Abuse and Rape are Trivialized

No one goes to jail

No injury, no crime, no ID

Degree of risk & entrapment are inversely related to intervention

Victims themselves minimize abuse

ABUSE IS NORMALIZED

typology of abuse
TYPOLOGY OF ABUSE
  • FIGHTS
  • PARTNER ASSAULT (20%-40%)
  • COERCIVE CONTROL (60%-80%)
partner assault
Partner Assault
  • Motive: hurt, punish, control
  • Conflict suppressed
  • Women as well as men
  • Victims retain autonomy
  • Repeated
  • May escalate over time
  • Sexual abuse
  • May decrease with separation
  • Fear or Injury may be High
coercive control
COERCIVE CONTROL
  • Coercive Control is a strategic course of conduct designed to retain privilege and establish domination in personal life based on fear, dependence and the deprivation of basic rights and liberties.
coercive control1
Coercive Control
  • Assault
  • Intimidation
  • Isolation
  • Control
cc violence
CC & Violence
  • Repeated, minor, routine
  • Rape/Sexual Assaults
  • Little or no “conflict”
  • May not exist

11

rape as routine
Rape as Routine
  • He told me he wanted to fool around and I told him no. He kept persisting and taking off my clothes and I kept fighting him off. He took his belt and tied my hands behind my back aqnd he had fun. I never wanted him to do that again like that so I never said ‘no.
  • Dila, age 26
intimidation
INTIMIDATION
  • Threats of violence
  • Violence against others
  • Destruction of property
  • Harassment through the network
  • “The silent treatment”

12

intimidation1
INTIMIDATION
  • Use of the Children
  • Surveillance (Stalking, etc.)
  • Use of legal system
  • Witness intimidation
  • INVISIBLE THREATS

12

degradation
DEGRADATION
  • ritual enactments associated with sex, bodily functions or obedience
  • TARGET AREAS OF GENDER IDENTITY FROM WHICH PARTNERS GET THEIR SELF-RESPECT, ESTEEM AND POWER
  • Link to Ownership
the continuum of degradation
The Continuum of Degradation
  • Anal sex
  • Pornography
  • Marking
  • Digital Inspections
  • Punishment
  • Shaming
  • Toileting
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Treated like an animal
  • Use of Children to Enforce Sexual Compliance
isolation
ISOLATION
  • Family and friends
  • School, work, church
  • Communication/Transportation
  • Helping Professionals
  • Private Life
control
CONTROL

what to cook

no friends

when to sleep

no personal money

what to wear

no transportation

when to have sex

no contraceptives

control prevalence us gb
Control Prevalence US/GB
  • Took her Money (.54)
  • Monitored Time (.85) (.66)
  • Kept from Medical Care (.29) (.22)
  • Did Not Allow to Go to School (.62) (.52)
  • No Socializing with Friends (.79) (.71)
  • Kept from Seeing Family (.60) (.50)
  • Restricted Car Use (.54) (.31)
  • Can’t Leave House (.62) (.47)
  • Threatened to Take Children (.44) (.40)
  • Did Not Allow to Work (.34) (.40)
  • Tried to Make Crazy (.89) (.75)

Sources: Tolman,l989; Rees, Agnew-Davies & Barkham, 2006; Buzawa et al. l999

safety zones

SAFETY ZONES

SEARCH & DESTROY

MISSIONS

slide35
What makes a battered woman is her socially constructed inability to escape when she is threatened, exploited or attacked
  • CC takes shape on a terrain that is contested by women’s assertion of agency & the challenge sexual equality poses to male privilege
cc hostage taking
Isolated from Support

Deprived of liberty

Deprived of Basic Needs

Ritual Degradation

Routine Violence

Punishment for Non-compliance

Restricted Mobility

Monitoring Time

Carrot/Stick

Material Exploitation

Perspecticide

Sex Exploitation

CC = Hostage Taking
cc is not like hostage taking
CC is NOT like hostage taking
  • Privileged access affords personal knowledge
  • Invisible in plain sight
  • Going ‘home’ is not an option
  • Gendered: No Parallel among men in personal life
  • Extends through Social Space
why does she stay
Why does she stay?

She Doesn’t

Separation is dangerous

Ending abuse as a process

She loves him and/or thinks the children need him

No resources

why does he stay
Why does HE Stay?

Privileges & Ownership

Services, Sex, Money, Time & Ego

Dependency

Fear of being alone (‘abandonment anxiety)

“Doing Masculinity.”

BECAUSE HE CAN

control1
Control
  • The 3 “Rs”

Rules

He makes the “rules”

Righteousness

I am the “Word” I am good, you are bad

Reason

If you see the world differently than I do, you’re crazy.”

“The argument is over, when I say it

Is over”

14

lethality
LETHALITY
  • Presence of gun/threats to kill
  • Threatened or Real Separation
  • Sexual Assault
  • Level of Control
    • (e.g. control + estrangement = 5x grter risk
cc and risk in mediation
CC and risk in mediation
  • Post separation
    • 47% reported escalating violence .
    • 51.9% reported at least l threat to their lives
    • 23.2% reported forced sex
  • CC vs. DV
    • CC accounted for 81% of escalating violence; 80% of threats to life & 76% of forced sex
    • DV accounted for 20% escalated DV; 17% threats & 24% forced sex
    • 75% (CC) vs. l8% (DV) expressed fear in mediation
assessment in the context of human libertyrights
Assessment in the Context of Human & LibertyRights
  • Violence = Right to Security
  • Intimidation and Degradation =Right to Dignity & Live Without Fear
  • Isolation= Right to association & support
  • Control = Right to Autonomy/Independence
invisible in plain sight
Invisible in Plain Sight
  • There is nothing like it in men’s experience
  • Liberties violated are taken for granted
  • Corresponds with women’s default roles
  • There are no words to describe it
  • There are no images on the media
  • It is built around personal knowledge and invention—role of learning is minimal
towards a new story
Towards a new story….
  • From incident of violence back to complete history of oppression
  • From injury to limits on autonomy, self-respect, liberty and equality
  • Start with evidence of strength– ask: what has happened to bring this woman low? How can we restore this capacity?
rethink harms
RETHINK HARMS
  • Harms to Liberty
  • Harms to Equality
  • Harms to Physical Security
  • Harms to Personhood
  • Harms to Family
  • Harms to Citizenship
  • Harms to Community and Economy
case management
CASE MANAGEMENT

SAFETY

ENHANCED ADVOCACY

Respectful partnering

BUILD SUPPORT NETWORK

EMPOWERED DECISION-MAKING + ACCESS TO RESOURCES

rethink shelter
Rethink SHELTER
  • Refuge from to Refuge within the community
  • Balance Safety with Freedom, Equality and Autonomy
  • Create communities of collective struggle and liberation and aid women to reconstruct their indigenous support networks…
  • Restore decision-making where it is denied (workplace, school, re-political arena, community)
  • Reconnect to larger agenda of the women’s movement….
challenges to law and justice
Challenges to LAW and Justice
  • Give CC a Name—COURSE OF CONDUCT CRIME
  • Criminalize the Violation of Liberty Rights in Personal Life
  • Recognize the wrong of subordination – “Domestic violence in the strong sense.”
  • Retaliation = Defense of Liberty
  • ASK: HOW WOULD WE JUDGE A MAN WHO RESPONDED VIOLENTLY TO THESE DEPRIVATIONS AND INDIGNITIES?
rethink bip
Rethink BIP………
  • Forging a new story through listening and talking
  • Continuity of oppression
  • The 3 R’s
  • Normal pathology
  • Power without control?
  • “If I am not a woman, what am I?”
coordinated response
COORDINATED RESPONSE
  • Home
  • Work
  • Public Space/Business
  • School
  • Church
  • Improve one response, but not others and things get worse
  • ADDRESS ISSUES OF INEQUALITY?