Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life

Author(s): Evan D. Stark

Emotional & Verbal Abuse

One of the most important books ever written on domestic violence, Coercive Control breaks through entrenched views of physical abuse that have ultimately failed to protect women.

Evan Stark, founder of one of America's first battered women's shelters, shows how "domestic violence" is neither primarily domestic nor necessarily violent, but a pattern of controlling behaviors more akin to terrorism and hostage-taking. Drawing on court records, interviews, and FBI statistics, Stark details coercive strategies that men use to deny women their very personhood, from "beeper games" to food logs to micromanaging dress, speech, sexual activity, and work. Stark urges us to move beyond the injury model and focus on the real victimization that allows men to violate women's human rights with impunity.

Provocative and brilliantly argued, Coercive Control reframes abuse as a liberty crime rather than a crime of assault and points the way to bringing "real" equality for women in line with their formal rights to personhood and citizenship, freedom and safety.


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"Regardless of whether readers agree or disagree with Stark's contentions or agree only in part, we guarantee they will not ever be bored. It is hoped that this book will be widely read and discussed and its major points incorporated into our daily work. In essence, this book should serve as a catalyst to reinvigorate the domestic violence movement."-- Violence Against Women

."..a fascinating new look at how the very question of 'why women stay' has been wrongheaded from the start."

."..a book of tremendous import to anyone working with the issue of domestic violence...Coercive Control is a sweeping, compelling and meticulously detailed argument...If, as Stark suggests, the domestic violence field is on the verge of a Kuhnian revolution, this book is the bugle blast."--SexRoles

"Coercive Control is one of the most important books ever written about domestic violence and one that should be widely read by advocates, policymakers, and academics."--Domestic Violence Report

"The mix of research, case material and the author's compelling perspective make the book very readable and engaging."--The Psychologist


Evan Stark is an award-winning researcher and has served as an expert in over l00 cases involving battered women and their children. He teaches at the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration and Chairs the Department of Urban Health Administration at the UMDNJ School of Public Health. With Dr. Anne Flitcraft he is the coauthor of Women at Risk: Domestic Violence and Women's Health. He lives in Woodbridge, Connecticutt.

Introduction; I. THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REVOLUTION: PROMISE AND DISAPPOINTMENT; 1. The Revolution Unfolds; 2. The Revolution Stalled; II. ENIGMAS OF ABUSE; 3. The Proper Measure of Abuse; 4. The Entrapment Enigma; 5. Re-presenting Battered Women; III. FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO COERCIVE CONTROL; 6. Up to Inequality; 7. The Theory of Coercive Control; 8. The Technology of Coercive Control; IV. LIVING WITH COERCIVE CONTROL; 9. When Battered Women Kill; 10. For Love or Money; 11. The Reasonableness of Battered Women; Conclusion: Freedom is Not Free

General Fields

  • : 9780195384048
  • : Oxford University Press, Incorporated
  • : Oxford University Press, Incorporated
  • : March 2009
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Evan D. Stark
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 362.8292
  • : 464