On the beat: When moving is controlling  

This week in my series on Domestic Violence I am going to touch on the use of isolation as a control in domestic violence.

Isolating a victim from friends and family causes a reliance on the abuser, making it seemingly impossible for the victim to leave. This technique, in my opinion, is particularly insidious. Whenever I attend a family harm incident, if the couple are not from the area I always ask the question “whose idea was it to move here?”

Moving to a town where there is a lack of emotional support from family is a common technique, so is moving towns frequently. If your partner is often suggesting a move, ask yourself why.

Often the abuser will control the victim’s ability to spend time with friends – who they see and when they see them, how long and where they can go. This limits the ability for the victim to find emotional support in friends.

If your partner tells you they don’t like a friend of yours and won’t allow you to see them, this is a red flag.

Human beings by and large are social animals. We rely on social and emotional support to get by in life. Not being allowed to spend times with friends or family outside the relationship is not okay. If you know a friend or a family member who appears to have been isolated from you, just keep trying to maintain contact.

If they reach out to you, seek advice from Police, Women’s refuge or Kainga Aroha.

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