If you would like to know what domestic violence, or intimate partner abuse (newer terminology) is all about, don’t look to the Control Wheel or the Cycle of Violence. These descriptions represent the earliest attempts to understand what goes on behind the closed doors of partner or dating relationships, and date from the 1970s.
They have been replaced by a much more accurate understanding called Coercive Control. Evan Stark, who appears in this video, has been instrumental in researching and formulating this way of looking at family dysfunction.
Please take the time to watch and listen. He is an excellent speaker as well as knowing the field of supporting victims of toxic relationships inside and out.
Here’s a longer talk by Dr. Stark which includes his participation in the beginnings of the domestic violence research and support community and a more detailed explanation of coercive control.
Evan Stark is a sociologist, forensic social worker and award-winning researcher with an international reputation for his innovative work on the legal, policy and health dimensions of interpersonal violence, including its effects on children. Dr. Stark’s award-winning book, Coercive Control: The Entrapment of Women in Personal Life (Oxford, 2007), was named the outstanding social science book published in 2007 by the Association of American Publishers and influenced the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe to expand their definitions of domestic violence to include coercive control. He is Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University where he held appointments in Public Affairs, Public Health and Women and Gender Studies. Dr. Stark has held visiting appointments and Fellowships at the University of Essex, the University of Bristol, the Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN) in El Salvador and, most recently, as the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh. Since his retirement, Dr. Stark has done extensive work on improving the response to abuse women in Turkey, as part of the State Department’s “U.S. Speaker and Specialist Program” as well as in Serbia, Taiwan and throughout the United Kingdom.