7th June 2020 at 1:19 pm #105395Wants To HelpParticipant
This is a very long post with some advice to hopefully help you understand some of your options available to you via going to the Police, to help you understand what Domestic Abuse is (in the eyes of the law) and to hopefully empower you with some knowledge so that you can make better informed decisions. So please, bear with! I hope Lisa does not remove some of the detail.
If you have not read any of my previous posts, I am a survivor of DA. I have lived the miserable and despairing existence in a relationship that was at times physically violent, but on the main, a day to day life of misery due to coercive and controlling behaviour. At the time, this wasn’t an offence, this wasn’t really broken down in to anything more simple to understand, and like many of you, I just lived my life thinking that I was in a c****y relationship that was going to be very difficult to walk away from because my abuser absolutely assured me by his words and behaviour that leaving him was not going to be an easy option.
(Detail removed by moderator) Abusers do not let you leave. If you do, they will do everything in their power to get you back so they can abuse you again. They do not love you, or nurture you, but you do have some use to them to fulfil their needs in some way, so they will keep you for their own gratification. I know how hard it is to leave an abusive relationship. It was harder for me to leave than it was for me to stay. The abuse did not stop when I left, it continued through the Family Courts, through the spiralling financial costs, through the solicitors whilst sorting out the financial settlement, through the child contact. I lived in over 10 different accommodations over a (detail removed by moderator) period. It only got easier as my son got older and was able to recognise his dad’s behaviour for himself. My son has now distanced himself from his dad.
I have been on this site for around 3 weeks. I have read so many posts, the most recurring ones seeming to be ladies who are asking “Is this abuse?” and recalling some horrific behaviours they are being subjected to. For those of us in the know, we can confirm it is indeed abuse, but what this shows time and time again is that there is no education in society about Domestic Abuse and what it consists of. People are still assuming it has to be some form of extreme physical violence, leaving awful, visible injuries. This is simply NOT TRUE. Violence of any type is DA; a tug of the hair, a shove, a slap across the face that, spitting at you, tripping you over. None of these may leave any marks, no proof at all that it happened, it’s just your word against his, but it’s still violence in the eyes of the law.
But the biggest uncertainty is around Coercive and Controlling Behaviour. What exactly is this?
Below is the legal definition:
This offence is constituted by behaviour on the part of the perpetrator which takes place “repeatedly or continuously”. The victim and alleged perpetrator must be “personally connected” at the time the behaviour takes place. The behaviour must have had a “serious effect” on the victim, meaning that it has caused the victim to fear violence will be used against them on “at least two occasions”, or it has had a “substantial adverse effect on the victims’ day to day activities”. The alleged perpetrator must have known that their behaviour would have a serious effect on the victim, or the behaviour must have been such that he or she “ought to have known” it would have that effect.
Going a bit deeper, the “personally connected” means that the people are related to each other as family, or are, or have been in an intimate relationship. What it doesn’t make clear is that you have to be in the same house for this offence to be complete. So if you are currently separated but still living under the same roof, it applies. If you have split up and living in separate households, it doesn’t. Further behaviours become ‘harassment or stalking’ offences. To have a “serious effect” on the victim includes affecting mental and physical health, loss of income, loss of a support network for example. A “substantial adverse effect on the victims’ day to day activities” are the incidents where you cannot go anywhere without being totally accountable for your movements, having to send photos to prove where you are or who you are with, constantly being phoned for updates, having a tracking app on your phone so he can see where you always are, having to do the shopping in a set time limit and being fearful if you are home late, being fearful of having overtime at work because you will get home late, having your clothes laid out for you each day because he chooses what you are to wear, are just some examples.
C&C Behaviour became an offence in the UK in December 2015. The penalty is a fine or 5 years imprisonment. So if you have separated now, but were living together after December 2015 you can still make a historical complaint of this offence to the Police. If you have been physically or sexually assaulted in the past you can make a complaint to the Police going back any amount of time, but without other evidence to support your complaint it is unlikely the Police will be able to take any further action.
So what sort of things are C&C behaviours and how can you prove it?
They can be any requests that make you live in fear of consequences if you do not comply. You are forbidden to wear clothes that show ‘too much cleavage’ and if you do, he will forcibly remove them from you, or cut them up. You are forbidden to wear a certain colour lipstick because it makes you ‘look cheap and common’ so he will forcibly wipe it off your face, you cannot meet up with certain friends, if you do and he finds out he will assault you when you get home. You are asked to do something, and if you don’t, he will destroy your treasured family photos of someone that are irreplaceable.
As the definition states, these are things that happen ‘repeatedly and continuously’ and are not just a one off. However, it may be that 35th ‘one off’ that will finally lead a lady to calling 999 because she just can’t take any more.
When the Police attend incidents of DA that have been violent acts it is easy for them to see the physical evidence to make an arrest. There will be visible injuries on the victim, there may be evidence of a disturbance within the house, overturned furniture, damaged items, blood on walls or the floor. Police Officers must have their body cameras on when they attend these incidents, it is mandatory to do so, and this evidence on arrival is used in a prosecution. It captures the chaos, the initial account of the victim and her demeanour, so if the victim then doesn’t wish to make a statement or support a prosecution the evidence will speak for itself. But in cases of C&C Behaviour, it is not easy to capture this evidence at all.
So what do the Police need?
The Police will need a detailed account from the victim of the behaviours she has been forced or expected to comply with. Without that information, they can’t help. They can’t help if they don’t know what has happened. Your opportunity to speak out is during the Risk Assessment.
At every domestic incident the Police have to ask questions to conduct a Risk Assessment. These are often referred to as DASH questions, which stands for Domestic Abuse, Stalking, Harassment. There are at least 27 questions asked, and depending on the answers it will prompt a separate set of questions within. You do not legally have to answer the questions, so you can say ‘no’ to answers that should really be ‘yes’ or you can ‘decline to answer’ questions. If you answer questions with information that amount to a criminal offence, the Police will arrest the abuser for those offences whether you want them to or not. The Police Policy is to take ‘positive action to remove the offender’ wherever possible. So many ladies will answer ‘no’ to questions just so that her abuser will not be arrested. In these instances, Risk Assessments may be marked as “Standard Risk To Victim” instead of a Medium Risk or High Risk. The ‘Risk’ is calculated on whether the victim is likely to be at serious risk of injury or death based on the answers she has given. If a lady discloses a history of C&C Behaviour, then Police will arrest the abuser, and this is one way of getting some help and getting the abuser out of your house, rather than you being the one to leave and have to find somewhere else to stay. It cannot be done without your participation and involvement when it comes to C&C Behaviour.
So how do the Police ‘prove’ this C&C Behaviour when it’s your word against his?
They will get a detailed statement from you. This may take place over a few days, or be captured in a video interview due to the amount of information you have to give. Your abuser is likely to be on Police bail during this process with conditions not to contact you or return to the address. Lots of the evidence can come from your family and friends who have seen the change in you since you have been with him, or have witnessed him put you down and humiliate you with derogatory comments at a family event, or work colleagues who can say that your work day is constantly interrupted with phone calls from him. The Police will work to gain third party evidence to support your evidence. The fact you never go out with friends anymore when you always used to, you never go to a works do, or a colleague’s retirement, but you did before you met him.
It is hard for a victim to disclose some of the more vile and degrading elements of C&C Behaviour, especially when first meeting Police Officers who turn up out of the blue, who she’s never met before, who may happen to both be male, and have responded to a call that she has rung in due to be dragged around the house by her pony tail. (Detail removed by moderator) C&C abusers use the most degrading acts to help ensure a victim’s silence.
If you are living in a world of C&C abuse, please seek help from professionals, you will not escape this life without help. To help yourself prepare for a call to the Police, make a plan.
Write down all of the accounts you can recall that amount to C&C abuse. That will give the Police the grounds to make an arrest, remember it cannot be a ‘one off’ behaviour, so the more evidence the better. (Detail removed by moderator). Include physical abuse too, and get any photos of injuries or any dates to hand that you may have visited a GP, A&E to report them. By doing this, you are taking back control and gathering your evidence together in a coherent way.
When you are ready, call your local Police Station and ask to make an appointment to speak to an officer to make a complaint of a history of C&C Domestic Abuse. Tell them you need to speak to somebody experienced in this field. If the Police do station appointments, ask them to book you an appointment for 2-3 hours, this CANNOT be dealt with in a one hour appointment, it is far too complex.
Make child care arrangements for your appointment, do not attend with children in tow. They should not be present to listen to what you have to say, no matter how young they are. They can also be a distraction. You really need to focus on you and what you have to say. Sometimes, if the only time you can get away from the home is in the middle of the night when the kids are asleep and your abuser is there and also asleep, then ask to see someone pre-arranged at 1am. The Police work 24/7 so someone should be available to see you on your terms. If you do not think you are in any immediate risk of harm prior to the appointment then INSIST the Police do not attend your house beforehand, as they could put you at risk of harm if they do.
If you call the Police, they will get involved with an intention of pursuing your report to the process of court and a conviction. The Police are not there as marriage guidance counsellors or mediators, they will not help you by trying to get your abuser to stop abusing you so you can continue to live with him, they are there to PROTECT YOU AND STOP THE ABUSE. That means getting him out of your house, permanently. A prosecution will lead to a Restraining Order to keep him away from you. With this in place he can’t return to the house. With this in place it helps substantiate your grounds for supervised contact with the children. It helps with your divorce application.
This is just one way where you can take control, an option for you to consider, but I understand it is scary. For that very reason, I did not involve the Police in my escape, however, in my day, C&C Behaviour was not a criminal offence, so there was not a lot the Police could have done to help me back then. In todays society, the evidence to arrest my abuser for C&C Behaviour would be there, so maybe, knowing what the Police can do today I would have called them.
Please, please, do not continue to suffer and live in misery and pain. The power is in your hands to make changes and make a difference. You do not have to leave your home, the law can force him to leave. The law wants to force the abuser to leave so that the you don’t have to.
For those of agonising over what to do right now, you can start this process today. You can call the Police TODAY. By TONIGHT your abuser could be in custody and tomorrow will be your first day of freedom from abuse.
7th June 2020 at 2:10 pm #105404BraelynnParticipant
How very wonderful of you to write this out for everyone! You are a very gifted writer. Finding your way out of the wet paper bag even with a flashlight can be daunting when it comes to C&C abuse. The brain fog, the weakness all over, shakiness, hopelessness, the incessant mind chatter is all so debilitating and blinding. I’ve been there. But nothing like something being said *just right* whereby turning a gear in our head and then hearing that amazing “click” and all of a sudden our head comes up, our eyes open wide, our hearing becomes acute all because somehow we just realized there is a way out of this and now action has to be taken. Hopefully this writing will be that kind of light so very needed.
7th June 2020 at 2:45 pm #105408
This is great, really clear, well explained and helpful. Life saver. Thank you.
7th June 2020 at 7:04 pm #105430
Your username directs, your post delivers! Thankyou so much💞
8th June 2020 at 12:52 am #105454Lotuslight36Participant
Hello I’m new on this forum
Thank you for posting this it’s really supportive and comforting to hear that there is help out there 👍💜 and grateful to the lady to write out this supportive letter is amazing so sending out a huge massive thanks 🤗🙂
My husband has been on n off angry in (detail removed by moderator) iv been with him, very insecure , jealous and controlling, deep rooted from his family as his dad is a very angry stubborn nasty man who useto push n hit his mum, which my husband heard as a child his parents arguing
he doesn’t like it before when I speak with my family n friends but I just tell him to be quiet n don’t control me ,🙄 tries to intimidate and threaten that there no choice I’m stuck , feel trapped in a loveless marriage, he just provides for me and no love affection joy fun happiness here,. First few years was ok n then I started to see his true colours n thought he will change get better, remained hopeful n positive but no changes happ He has said n done some nasty things a few times as he can’t control his temper but I’m thinking of my options of separating or divorcing him as I’m very unhappy in my marriage , n I don’t want to feel anxious on egg shells around him n for him to take away my peace i will not allow that. He says to me how will I do it on my own , I have more money better credit rating n I’m financially stable, I do work part time Bern with company for (detail removed by moderator) n that is my time away which makes me feel independent secure happy as I love my job 🙂
He has no respect for me n how much I do , demands food, belittles me, n flips in anger if bit late, disrespects me cook lots of nice dishes, when he nasty says things like what do u do, know , finding faults, complains, bring me down so he feels good 😏 drains my energy n I’m s very positive happy friendly person n he gets very very jealous , it’s like a robot life, he doesn’t understand my feelings or emotions just heartless at times, he has tried to make me really scared but I’m strong n I know it’s a game he is playing , as is very jealous and says you are mine!! n if u try to divorce me I will make it very hard for you & iv put slot of hardwork n effort in building this life but I know I got nothing to fear as i have support n I have logged it with the police and my GP, plus I have my own record of incidents of what iv experienced , through the years I have got much stronger n with the support of my family n close friends n support groups i know there will be a day when I can put this unhappy marriage behind me n start again 💜
It’s not a nice thing to experience, always remember the issue is with them, they are not happy with themselves, have no love n empathy compassion in their hearts n they will do anything to bring us down , as I feel my partner doesn’t like me being strong independent, having an opinion n voicing concerns , he comes from a traditional little old fashion background ,insecurity of loosing me, jealously, negative stuck mind set, dark qualities n they don’t want us to be happy n move on but we are meant to be at peace harmony happy n feel safe and comfortable. He says this is my house my things n acts very petty n argumentative his anger negative attitude n insecurities are what’s causing these issues
My husband loves his money ego pride, he likes the idea of marriage but is conditional and has a gaming “t*t for tat” mindset , he can be very immature n think his money masculinity male chauvinistic attitude will get him far, he is a bully n the day I leave him n file for divorce is when I will be free light happy n full of joy n freedom ,
He is scared of loosing me and I can’t just stay in marriage out of sympathy as he does have issues but he can’t admit n is in denial n likes to act like everything is ok even after he has upset n hurt me emotionally n hardly says sorry when he is in wrong. He only has a few friends, n rarely calls them up n annoying thing that he don’t talk when summin on his mind n rather stress me out n get angry, bang his hand on wall, slam doors n feeling a little shaken up is not what I deserve n life is to be lived be happy content , appreciate the little things n he always ambitious big house car holiday but the happiness is not there , happiness is from within n he doesn’t give me his marriage time effort or energy n i feel just stuck in an loveless dull no spark marriage .he very reserved quiet , likes to read n we quite the opposites but iv given him soo many chances n always felt sorry for him as he is a lost lonely guy really who iv tried to always help support n encourage him with anything but he doesn’t want to help himself with his anger n relationship issues so I feel there is not much left now as he has overstepped my boundary and limitations and I am seriously looking into divorcing him once this covid virus situation eases n things get back to normal
Sending strength to us amazing women putting up with these bunch of bullies, may the angels and god protect us, show us the way n always remind us that there is light at the end of the road and one door closes another one opens and this challenge/ test god puts in front of us shows that he has faith in us and we CAN get through this n live a better happier fulfilling life 💜🙏💜
Anyone who has been through a difficult marriage but was strong enough to end it and is now more happier ? I would love to hear Ur story
Love light peace, empowerment and strength to you all 🙏🌸🙏
13th June 2020 at 5:47 pm #106246
@lotuslight36 thank you for your beautiful supportive words. Sounds like you have already made up your mind to leave. That’s great, you sound so strong and full of light and energy and heart. They are big unappreciative unhappy bullies that don’t know what they’ve got. Remember not to tell him, they say it’s the most dangerous time.
Sending love and light to you. X*x
14th June 2020 at 1:17 am #106290CuppateaParticipant
Thank you ever so much for writing this and giving us an insight into your life. You’re so right and there’s only so much help you can give. Like a phone battery you can’t keep on charging him and expect your own energy levels to not drop. I’ve actually stayed in a marriage for (detail removed by moderator) days when I knew it wasn’t right. And until this day I joke and say oh Kim k’s marriage lasted longer than mine as her first marriage was 72 days lol.
I was in love with someone else before I’d met him and the first guy showed me what true love was and cared for me like nobody could ever. Somehow things didn’t work out. And if he hadn’t taught me love I’d probably still be in marriage with the second guy.
I guess it’s also about self worth. I wish you luck. And I hope you can escape him and his negativity.
Lots of love xx
13th June 2020 at 11:46 am #106201
Bumping in case it helps someone 💐
13th June 2020 at 5:35 pm #106243
14th June 2020 at 11:51 pm #106394
Bumping up again ⬆️
14th June 2020 at 11:51 pm #106395
17th June 2020 at 2:05 pm #106608
18th June 2020 at 1:31 pm #106693BraelynnParticipant
This a very very good place to go to see what the laws are regarding this, etc. Please go to site and read…https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/controlling-or-coercive-behaviour-intimate-or-family-relationship.
19th June 2020 at 9:06 am #106768
💞 Bumping up this for women in need
19th June 2020 at 9:07 am #106769
Bumping up again!💞
19th June 2020 at 9:09 am #106770
21st June 2020 at 4:10 pm #107085
21st June 2020 at 10:23 pm #107155
Bumping up to help💞
22nd June 2020 at 3:16 pm #107231
22nd June 2020 at 3:27 pm #107234LifebeginsParticipant
This is really good information.🙏
27th June 2020 at 11:27 am #107773
Bumping for the women who are doubting, for the women who are wondering, for the women who need some reassurance. Reach out when you feel comfortable, there will always be somewhere here to listen. xx
28th June 2020 at 2:56 pm #107967
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