Dean Judy Postmus Published in Psychology of Violence

Dean Judy L. Postmus and colleagues have a new paper published in Psychology of Violence that explored the perceptions of professionals who identified common tactics used by perpetrators to isolate, groom, and control individuals.


Key stakeholders (N = 22) with expertise working with perpetrators and victims of child abuse, elder abuse, IPV, human trafficking, and gang or cult recruitment completed semistructured interviews to discuss their perspectives of predatory tactics. Using a directed content analysis procedure, emergent themes revealed that perpetrators engage individuals in exploitative relationships by (a) identifying potential victims, (b) infiltrating lives through grooming, (c) isolating to gain control, and (d) maintaining control through any means necessary. The study concluded that although nuanced victimization experiences exist, professionals working with perpetrators and/or victims of abuse describe a common pattern of predatory strategies implemented by perpetrators that transcends victimization type. Applying the language of coercive control to these tactics broadens the recognition of instances when an individual’s personal freedoms are limited by another individual’s exertion of control.


Duron, J. F., Johnson, L., Hoge, G. L., Postmus, J. L. (2020). Observing coercive control beyond intimate partner violence: Examining the perceptions of professionals about common tactics used in victimization. Psychology of Violence. doi:10.1037/vio0000354

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