Coercive Control: How to Recognize It and Respond

Blank Rome-Hosted Live Webinar

Online Event

Look Ahead with Lois Liberman: A Women’s Salon Series

Blank Rome partner Lois J. Liberman’s Look Ahead salons are designed to address the very personal and pivotal issues that concern women who are divorced and divorcing. Over her 30-year career in matrimonial law, she has seen their impact and the toll these challenges take on her clients’ lives.

Lois created these interactive salons to connect her current and former clients with prominent relationship and financial experts and a spectrum of personal image professionals who share their keen insights and practical advice. Each participant takes away strategies to cope, win, and move their life forward.


Abuse is not always physical or verbal. Coercive control can be subtle, but powerfully manipulative and oppressive, often instilling fear. Coercive control is a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand domestic abuse as more than a “fight”. It is a pattern of behavior which seeks to take away the victim's liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self.

Controlling aspects of your life such as where you go, who you see, what you wear, what you eat, when you sleep, etc.

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Monitoring your activity
  • Controlling your finances
  • Humiliating, degrading, or dehumanizing you
  • Making threats or intimidating you

Recognize any of these signs for yourself or someone you care about? Join Lois J. Liberman, Dr. Peter Favaro, and Cathy O’Brien for an important conversation on what coercive control is, how to recognize it, how to deal with it, understanding the different types of coercive control and how it impacts those involved.


Peter J. Favaro, Ph.D., is a child and adolescent psychologist specializing in custody and parenting time evaluations, and civility and abuse evaluations. He is the director of SmartParenting, The Family Center in Port Washington; and the Center for Improved Human Relationships in New York City. Dr. Favaro is the author of 18 books and his latest book is Staying in Love Secret Recipes for Making Love Last. After spending the last 38 years watching relationships fall apart and helping people find new beginnings, the book is about reconnection, rebuilding, and creating recipes for success.

Dr. Favaro has been appointed to thousands of high-conflict custody cases, many involving allegations of domestic violence and coercive control. His testimony was a deciding factor in one of the first New York County cases involving coercive control as a function of domestic violence.


Cathy O’Brien, MSW, is the CEO of Naturopathica™, the leading holistic beauty and wellbeing and skincare company of botanical ingestibles, aromatherapy, skincare, and body care. The foundation and essence of Naturopathica is a complete approach to the awareness and practice of how to tend and care for yourself.

Through her role at Naturopathica, Cathy is dedicated to providing women with not only healing rituals, spa services, and skincare products to aid their healing, but also a safe space where they can nurture their emotional wellbeing.

During the global pandemic, O’Brien earned a Master of Social Work degree at Columbia University as well as a certificate in Domestic Violence Prevention from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has worked with the One Love Foundation, the National Domestic Violence Hotline as an advocate, Mt. Sinai’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention program and Sanctuary for Families in the Economic Empowerment program.


QUESTIONS? Contact Allison Cott via e-mail.