Coercive control


Things are looking up, thankfully so.

Attention is being drawn to cliche… attitudes we erstwhile thought patriarchal though we know they are downright unacceptable.

I wish though that focal lenses would beam on coercive control, not only that, recognize it as a criminal offense and treat it as such.

We grew up in the same neighborhood oh, how sweet she was. She was that person that knew and called everyone by their middle names, generously dishing out mouthfuls of smiles as her eyes thinned from a kindness that wells from within.

”I think Lois has her number, I will check. But you will be in luck if she picks. She’s only allowed her phone at certain times during the day”

This was the response I got when I allowed my mind travel down memory lane and I felt that longing, the one that suggests I have missed her and I made attempts to reach out.

A frown burrowed. What does he mean by ‘allow’. That choice of word could have been considered more carefully I thought… too delicate to use that loosely.

Then I dug further, she’s also not ‘allowed’ to work. She’s mothering her kids (and her partner) round the clock.

Not too many people have her number, not when she’s constantly changing it. Oh! Stressful!

This, my friend is happening in 2019 and I ask myself, are we still so gullible to interpret deliberate isolation, deprivation of independence as love… at the worst, we have termed it obsession.

Brrrh! We surely should start calling a spade exactly what it is, A SPADE!

It is no longer news that domestic abuse is not always physical. When a persons independence is being sabotaged and threatened by their partners (as a result of previously deprived rights) that, is coercive control.

Such a relationship is hard to exit!

The call is to urgently appraise your situation to identify any trends as those (there are a lot more) above.

And, to raise awareness on the pressing need to not only treat coercive control as a criminal offense but to encourage survivors speak up for victims.

Credit: Siju Yusuf