Isolation (physical, social or emotional) is often used to facilitate power and control over someone for an abusive purpose. This applies in many contexts such as workplace bullying, elder abuse, domestic abuse, child abuse, and cults.
Isolation reduces the opportunity of the abused to be rescued or escape from the abuse. It also helps disorientate the abused and makes the abused more dependent on the abuser. The degree of power and control over the abused is contingent upon the degree of his or her physical or emotional isolation.
An important element of psychological control is the isolation of the victim from the outside world. Isolation includes controlling a person’s social activity: who they see, who they talk to, where they go and any other method to limit their access to others. It may also include limiting what material is read. It can include insisting on knowing where they are and requiring permission for medical care. The abuser exhibits hypersensitive and reactive jealousy.
- separating from family and community
- taking control of the handling of the victim’s resources and property
- undoing (mind control)
- physical isolation