What is it about?

In some countries and states, it is a criminal offense to engage in "controlling or coercive" behavior towards an intimate partner that causes them to fear future violence or that affects their daily life. But coercive control is usually measured by self-report tools that assess how it makes a victim feel. How do third parties such as police officers recognize coercive control if they see it? Do they document coercive control or just focus on the physical violence? We found that police reports did contain evidence of both "psychological control" and "controlling attitudes." Together, coercive control was related to there being more physical violence during the occurrence, and coercive control predicted more severe future violence.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

This study showed that coercive control is a distinct set of behaviors and attitudes that can be documented by police. Also, coercive control is important in assessing the risk of future physical violence.


This is the first paper from researchers working together on research to develop "Common Language for IPV Risk Appraisal, an Evidence-Based Policing Approach project" -- look out for more research from the CELIA team!

Dr N Zoe Hilton
University of Toronto

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Coercive control in police reports of intimate partner violence: Conceptual definition and association with recidivism., Psychology of Violence, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/vio0000457.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page