5 forms of intimate partner violence that target the victim’s social network

Understanding IPV Helping Someone

5 forms of intimate partner violence that target the victim’s social network

  • 17 341

  • Reading time : 3 min

To establish and maintain his power over the victim, the abuser uses different strategies to limit the victim's social network’s ability to help them and to restrain access to friends and family. Here are some examples of behaviours that target a victim’s social network.


Sabotaging communications and ties with family & friends

Failing to convey messages. erasing text messages and emails ; Preventing the victim from going out to meet friends ; Expressing jealousy ; Creating conflict between the victim and her loved ones.


Discrediting the victim

Presenting a distorted picture of the victim by portraying them as overly emotional, unstable, unreasonable, aggressive, or suffering from a mental illness ; Presenting themselves as helpful, trustworthy, reasonable and willing to work hard to «help» the victim and «give her a chance» ; The abuser may even go so far as to pretend to be the victim in the situation.


Imposing their vision of events to loved ones

Presenting loved ones with a false picture of what’s going on by lying or distorting facts in order to blame the victim and absolve themselves of any responsibility.


Using friends and family to monitor the victim

Getting loved ones to monitor the victim and report on her actions, often by claiming concern for the victim, her physical safety or her mental health.


Stealing the victim’s family and friends

Becoming overly involved with the victim’s family and friends in order to establish themselves as the most important person in the relationship; Excluding the victim from relationships with their friends or family.

I’ve been separated for 4 years. During our marriage, my ex-husband got really close to my parents, so much so that they «adopted» him. At the time, he convinced my parents that I had mental health problems and that my «refusal to get help» was very hard on him. When he and I separated, my parents took his side and even testified on his behalf in Court. I haven’t seen them since. It breaks my heart to think about my ex spending Christmas with my parents, while I’m all alone.

Femme - 45 ans - Survivante


Download the electronic version of all our articles.

This format can be more practical in certain situations, in particular for sharing articles in printed form, or for having them to hand in an intervention context.

Download this article

Bien que la violence conjugale touche majoritairement des femmes, elle peut aussi toucher les hommes et les personnes issues de la diversité sexuelle et de genre. Les services de SOS violence conjugale sont offerts à toutes les personnes touchées par la problématique.

Questions ?
Need to talk ?
We are here for you.

Contact a worker

Chat Services

By chat, we can offer you some time to discuss your situation, to be able to explore the resources that could be useful to you in the future. On average, we are available for about 30 minutes per exchange.

How it works?