Coercive control underlies most experiences of domestic violence and often manifests as an insidious pattern of manipulation that strips victims of their autonomy. It is also a form of child abuse that likely impacts 100% of children living with an abusive parent. In part 2 of our discussion on this topic, we unpack the impact of this form of psychological abuse upon children in the home where domestic violence occurs. Dr. Christine Cocchiola explains how children are entangled in the web of abusive behaviors through coercive control, the distinction between abuse and maltreatment, and how family court fails children through a lack of understanding and legislation to protect them. We also explore ACES as a means to evaluate childhood experiences of abuse and how women and children can heal from the trauma of domestic violence.
Dr. Cocchiola is a Coercive Control Advocate, Researcher, Educator & Professor of Social Work, and a Survivor who has been dedicated to the field of intimate partner violence since the age of 19. Dr. Cocchiola is a tenured professor at a Connecticut Community College and an adjunct instructor at NYU, teaching in the Social Work Studies Program for over 20 years. This 2-part series on coercive control explores the origins of the term coercive control, the impact covert, non-physical forms of abuse have on both adults and children, the legislation related to domestic violence, and the importance of working with service providers who specialize in coercive control in abusive relationships.