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Kevin Segler, an Associate at KoonsFuller in Plano, Texas. (Courtesy photo.)

Family violence is rarely just physical abuse. It almost always involves a combination of other types of abuse (verbal, emotional, sexual), resulting in a dynamic of coercive control. Coercive control is a pattern of behavior in which the abuser seeks to maintain power and control in the relationship through various forms of manipulation, intimidation and punishment. One type of abuse often begets another in a vicious cycle ultimately resulting in the survivor feeling powerless and trapped in the relationship.

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