The methods used by white slave owners to guarantee their slaves would remain devoted to them were inhumane yet effective for the intended purpose. The easiest way to enforce slavery was through physical beatings. Any person in servitude who did anything that remotely resembled insurgence would be severely whipped in public. This would ensure that the other slaves backed down from any ideas of disobeying their master. Physical abuse was intended to create fear in the slave population. Additionally, whipping was done for minor offences to keep the slaves in check. Other forms of physical abuse include shackling, imprisonment, mutilation, and branding. They were used proactively to prevent rebellion and as punishment against perceived bad behavior.
Another tactic that slave owners used is separation of the slaves. They split people to ensure they did not get the time or opportunity to plan a revolt. This tactic would also ensure obedience because since they were apart, a slave owner could get one member to cooperate by threatening their loved one. While beating and whipping are forms of physical torture, separation constitutes psychological abuse.
Sexual assault, abuse, and rape were also common forms of treatment towards slaves. Since slaves were considered property, the slave owners felt entitled to have sexual relations with the women whenever they desired. Sometimes, these women got pregnant yet even pregnancy did not exempt them the forms of punishment discussed so far. Later, slave-owning colonies instituted slave codes to further curtail the rights and freedoms of enslaved people. The tactics used by slave owners to enforce cooperation and suppress mutiny were brutal. Due to the nature of these techniques, slave masters owned slaves for many years without significant challenges.