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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter defines violent coercion in romantic relationships as comprising threatening or controlling behaviors such as economic abuse and social isolation, dominance and intimidation, belligerence and humiliation, threats of physical violence, physical violence itself, and sexual violence. This type of coercion occurs in a broad range of intimate relationships—dating, cohabiting, engaged and newlywed couples, separated and divorced couples, and second and third marriages. Even mild and infrequent forms of violent coercion have negative consequences for victims, relationships, and children raised in these homes. There are few empirically supported interventions for violent coercion in committed relationships, and those that do exist are limited in their efficacy. This chapter reviews the wide variation in definitions of coercion in committed relationships, assesses the methods used to measure coercion in committed relationships, reviews traditional treatments and evaluates their efficacy, and delineates recent treatment advances and outline directions for future research.

Keywords: violent coercion, sexual violence, couple dysfunction, intimate partner violence, physical violence

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