International Women's Day

IWD 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Sylvie Sturm: Coercive Control

Coercive control is domestic violence. When will judges adapt to the new law?

In the U.S., more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Nevertheless, when victims turn to family court for protection from their abusers, they often face skeptical judges. And that’s especially true when the abuse doesn’t leave a mark. This is the first episode in a series about the way family courts adjudicate cases that involve a form of domestic abuse known as coercive control, and how advocates and lawmakers are trying to help victims and their children. Read the text article associated with this episode of “Civic” from the San Francisco Public Press: “Coercive Control Victims Face Skeptical Judges, Court Transcripts Show.”

Social Language:

  • Coercive control is a type of domestic abuse that is hard to prove as it doesn’t leave physical marks. Victims are then retraumatized when they have to face their abusers in court, and again when the judges don’t believe them.
  • Domestic abuse isn’t always physical violence. “Civic” talks to experts about coercive control and hears from victims about their experiences at home and in the courts.