Domestic Violence — Common Tactics of Control

Domestic Violence — Common Tactics of Control

Relationships can break down for many reasons. Financial difficulties, incompatibility, and differing relationship goals can drive a wedge between people and alter or destroy the relationship.

But occasionally, domestic violence and emotional manipulation turn a relationship toxic. Physical, emotional, mental, and sexual control over a partner walks hand-in-hand with domestic violence. Controlling partners may use violence or false accusations of violence as a tool for keeping their partner under their control.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Redwood City, California, contact us at Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys for assistance. We offer a free initial consultation by calling (650) 299-0500.

How Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help With Domestic Violence Charges in Redwood City, CA

How Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help With Domestic Violence Charges in Redwood City, CA

The legal team at Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys has over 30 years of combined experience defending the accused. Our firm was founded in 2005, and since then, our Redwood City criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended clients in over 50 trials and won over 3,000 cases.

Hiring our Redwood City domestic violence attorneys means you’ll have a representative to: 

  • Gather evidence and advocate for your rights 
  • Negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf
  • Work to have your charges dismissed or towards a favorable plea deal
  • Fight for you in court proceedings

When prosecutors accuse you of committing a crime, you can face fines, imprisonment, and social ostracism. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free consultation to learn how a dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you fight for your future.

How Common Is Emotional Manipulation?

Everyone uses emotional manipulation at some point during their life. Even infants know that crying triggers the parental instinct and gets them what they want.

Statistics do not show how often adults use emotional manipulation. But mental health professionals have identified some people who use emotional manipulation habitually or pathologically to influence others.

Tactics of Control

Some people feel the need to control others. This control validates their self-worth and helps them get the things they want emotionally, physically, and materially.

The exact methods for controlling other people vary. Some common tactics of control include:

Lying and Gaslighting

Domestic partners, spouses, and other family members might justify telling “little white lies” about who lost the TV remote or why the credit card statement had some unexpected charges. But in a controlling relationship, lies play an additional role beyond not getting caught doing something wrong.

Lying and gaslighting can help the manipulator distort your reality and question your sanity, memory, or ability. A liar might tell you that you left the gate open and let the dog run away. But rather than ending it there, a gaslighter might say that you did it because you are too irresponsible to have a dog.

Physical Aggression

Physical aggression and bullying instill fear in you. This fear allows the manipulator to control your actions. When aggression includes actual or threatened abuse, the manipulator might have committed domestic violence under California’s Penal Code.

Passive Aggression

Someone is passive-aggressive when they indirectly undermine you or take out their negative emotions on you. However, they do not express negative emotions about you and may even praise you to your face.

One of the most common passive-aggressive tactics is to insult someone with underhanded praise, such as, “This tastes pretty good for someone who cannot cook.” This sets up a control dynamic where the manipulated person constantly feels off-balance, trying to get the approval and cooperation of the manipulator.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is meant to demean you and put you into an emotionally dependent state. This tactic uses:

  • Criticism
  • Anger
  • Threats

By making the victim emotionally dependent, the manipulator gets a boost in self-esteem and makes it more difficult for the victim to leave.


Lying pertains to facts. Exaggeration often differs from lies because it may include a kernel of truth that has been distorted.

An exaggerator might say they only drink because you never take them out to do anything fun. It may be true that you never go out. But this fact might be unrelated to their drinking problem.

This tactic puts the manipulator in control of the facts. This puts you in a position of being dependent on the manipulator to assess a problem.

Playing on Your Guilt

Guilt can provide a powerful motivation to do things. A manipulator can use your guilt to control your actions. Thus, a manipulator might tell you that you messed up their life by cheating on them, and now you need to make it up to them by doing them a favor.

Withdrawal and Self-Harm

Another way to play on your sense of responsibility is to withdraw or threaten self-harm. Your sympathy for the manipulator will drive you to do whatever they ask of you.

A manipulator might threaten to commit suicide if you divorce them. This threat can trap you in an unhappy marriage because you do not want to be responsible for their death.

Connections Between Emotional Manipulation and Domestic Violence

Emotional manipulators might resort to domestic violence when their manipulations fail. This violence might include threats, stalking, destruction of property, and other actions that violate California law.

Manipulators might also use false accusations of domestic violence to control you. Someone could threaten to accuse you of sexual assault if you ever leave them.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Redwood City Domestic Violence Lawyers

Domestic violence often overlaps with controlling behaviors. To discuss how controlling behaviors by a partner might help you overcome domestic violence charges, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free consultation.

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