Earlier today I had the opportunity to contribute to a LBC (London Broadcasting Company) live radio discussion about new Police guidelines on Coercive Control, which is a form of Domestic Abuse. For those who don’t know Coercive Control refers to the abuse of a person by violating their Human Rights and liberty. Many times in the past a woman had to prove that she was physically violated but coercive control does away with that myth. The emphasis is on whether an incident is disempowering to a victim; even if it seemed insignificant to anyone else. Sadly a lot of individuals are subjecting their partner to this type of abuse without realising it. You are probably in a coercively controlled relationship if you feel like you have to ask your partner for permissions such as to make decisions, to go to work, to speak to certain people, to go out with friends, to wear certain clothes or makeup or to access joint finances. In addition, if a spouse is monitoring their partner’s calls, emails, Social Media, etc, all of these incidences are forms of coercive control. A number of the methods of Coercive Control are not seen as an offence on their own. The tactics adopted may pass as part of gendered roles in everyday lives and may be barely noticeable but their root lie in sexual inequality and discrimination. The practice is wrong and should not be tolerated or deemed acceptable.
In the UK you can be imprisoned for up to 5 years if you are successfully prosecuted for this offence.
The new College of Policing guidance, which focuses on the dynamics of abusive relationships, is designed to help officers prosecute without relying on victims’ evidence. It gives Police the opportunity to question the alleged victim, other members of the household and neighbours about the current and past incidents during their investigation. The guidance also advises senior officers about the need for specialist staff to deal with cases of abuse and ensure victims receive the best possible support possible.
According to the BBC online News, ‘The College is releasing a “toolkit” for officers who are first at the scene of an incident, as well as checklists for call handlers and counter staff in police stations for when they are contacted about domestic abuse.’
For more information on Domestic Abuse and how you can safely leave an abusive spouse purchase a copy of my bestseller book ‘Time To Go! Leaving Emotional Abuse and other forms of Abusive Relationships’, available on Amazon worldwide.