Coercive Control

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Coercive Control -- a crime in at least three countries now.
Cover image: pixabay.com

Submitted: June 09, 2019

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Submitted: June 09, 2019

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Coercive Control

 

Coercive Control is formerly defined as psychological abuse in intimate relationships that causes serious alarm or distress that has a substantial adverse effect on a person’s day-to-day life, manifesting in a pattern of intimidation or humiliation involving psychological or emotional abuse.

On the second day of January 2019, a new law was established, designed to tackle the more pernicious and far less obvious effects of this type of behaviour. Ireland is the third country in the world, following England and Scotland, to introduce such a law.

This is very much about repeated behaviours rather than those of one or two instances. Some things that on the face of it can appear very small, when suffered continuously can have a huge impact on the victim. The most common areas of attack are in freedom of movement and freedom of association, but are by no means confined to these two aspects.

 

"If somebody knows you well, they know your ‘crumple zone’ in a sense and they know how to put you down." Margaret Martin, Director Of Women’s Aid in Ireland.

 

Weight and body image are a frequent target, as are family dynamics. Anything that can undermine one’s self-respect and self-esteem. Public humiliation is an action that is often put in to play, the abuser if called out claiming it was just a misjudgement in humor.

It is also worth noting that not all abused are female. Also, not all abusers are husbands or partners; children over the age of eighteen can also be guilty of this crime.

It can be hard to spot, even harder to acknowledge, when you are the victim of Coercive Control. As behaviour worsens and each iteration becomes the new normal, low self-esteem is just one factor that can stop the victim from seeing the reality of the situation, and instead accepting the abuse as being true.

Should someone decide to confront an abuser, they might be met with threats of murder, or more likely that should they report the behaviour or leave the victim would then be responsible for the abuser’s suicide.

The law is a step forward to those that dare to pursue it. Not easy to prove though, and like reports of rape can be exceedingly painful on a personal level to go through with. It is also worth noting that the very people that this law is set up to help are the least likely to make a report in the first place, especially if the acused is their own child.


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