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Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence

  • rubytuesday
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8 years 9 months ago #306738 by rubytuesday
The Government are holding a public consultation to look at widening the definition of Domestic Violence, one of the proposals is to include "coercive behaviour" as a form of domestic abuse.

This public consultation closes in March, and Wikivorce will be submitting an official response. However, to do this, we need the thoughts and input of our members. You can use the form that is in the library to submit your response that will form part of the Wikivorce response, and either post it on this thread, or send it to myself in a private message. The form can be found by clicking here . Alternatively, if you wish to submit a personal response, you can use the online form from the Home Office - click here to access it.

The full Consultation document can be accessed here - Definition of Domestic Violence

Some of you may be interested in reading the Home Affairs Committee report on Domestic Violence - Home Affairs Committee Report

Should coercive behaviour come under the classification of Domestic Violence, when it is actually domestic abuse, and there is no violence involved?

Would the inclusion of coercive behaviour lead to an increase in false allegations, and especially from those who wish to remove a parent from the children''s lives (without good reason)?

How can coercive behaviour be proved?

What constitutes coercive behaviour? How does one differentiate between what could be the normal nuances of an adult relationship and actual coercive behaviour?

Should willful contact prevention be considered to be coercive behaviour and/or emotional abuse towards the parent being prevented time with his/her children and towards the children themselves?

Recent research shows that men are twice as likely as women to be victims of coercive behaviour, yet the Consultation is weighted heavily in favour of women - has the Government failed to acknowledge male victims of domestic abuse and violence?

I look forward to a healthy discussion.

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  • dukey
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8 years 9 months ago #306743 by dukey
In the context of this consultation what exactly is coercive behaviour? ive tried to read a link but it doesn''t work for me.

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  • rubytuesday
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8 years 9 months ago #306745 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence
From the HO Consulation document:

Domestic violence is often underpinned by a pattern of coercive control. Coercive control is a complex pattern of overlapping and repeated abuse perpetrated within a context of power and control. It can be described as a series of repeated incidents which may vary from lesser to greater severity. This could include things like the control of finances, verbal abuse or isolation which may include control over whom a person can see or where they can go. Psychological control is a unique factor that sets domestic violence apart from other types of crime. Such control could also include a person being forced to change their behaviour as a result of fear.

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  • dukey
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8 years 9 months ago #306748 by dukey
Thank you.

Personally i see domestic violence as physical action taken by one partner against another, to control or coerce to me is unreasonable behaviour but not domestic violence.

The system is abused as it is.

Domestic violence can be life changing or it can even end a life, literally murder,is it really wise to dilute such a serious crime.

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  • Forseti
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8 years 9 months ago #306753 by Forseti
"Violence" implies “the exercise of physical force so as to inflict injury on, or cause damage to, persons or property; action or conduct characterised by this; treatment or usage tending to cause bodily injury or forcibly interfering with personal freedom” (OED).

"Coercive control" does not fit this definition. It is a product of a specifically feminist interpretation of domestic violence which believes violence to be the means by which the patriarchal hegemony continues to oppress women and that it has cultural approval: "Men who assault their wives are actually living up to cultural prescriptions that are cherished in Western society—aggressiveness, male dominance and female subordination—and they are using physical force as a means to enforce that dominance" (Dobash & Dobash 1979).

I agree with Dukey that the definition is already abused - the Home Office obviously has absolute contempt for the official definition - and I believe that the motivation to extend it further is political and feminist.

Once a parent is labelled "violent" for doing something which is manifestly not violent, there are very serious consequences should he (and it will inevitably be he) wish to make applications for contact , etc.

There is a limit to how much the state can - and should - intervene in private lives and we are venturing into very dangerous territory.

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8 years 9 months ago #306758 by dukey
Like Forseti i also checked the OED, by definition it would seem to be a dead debate, it obviously is not thus the consultation.

Domestic violence is a crime, that crime is punishable by imprisonment and rightly so, i think we would all agree, each crime carry''s a tariff, a direction to be used when sentencing, if domestic violence becomes an umbrella encompassing controlling behaviour to physical violence then the extremes merge under the same tariff, can it be a person who decides what should be spent money wise or complains when a partner goes to the pub is the same as a person who beats a partner causing serious physical harm.

Rather than enter into these consultations surely the money and time would be better used to better the system we have.

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  • mumtoboys
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8 years 9 months ago #306778 by mumtoboys
Replied by mumtoboys on topic Re:Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence
...on the other hand, if the state ignores pretty crappy behaviour on the part of one partner to another (and by crappy, I mean actions such as name calling with intent to belittle and degrade (rather than in the heat of an argument), locking people in the house, with-holding of money (outwith reasonable attempts to curb excessive spending) by say, having all child benefit and tax credit transferred to one account or ''stealing'' a person''s debit card or changing a pin number, threatening physical violence as a means of gaining control over a person''s actions...not just ''moaning about going to the pub'', what message is the state delivering? That you can be imprisoned for beating your partner to death but if you grind him/her down on a daily basis to the point where they are unable to act independently, aren''t allowed to work, can''t buy essentials such as...oh, I don''t know, sanitary protection because they have no money...that''s within acceptable parameters?

I get the concerns about being able to use a broad definition of domestic abuse against someone in contact and residence cases. But I think there are people out there who do make their partner''s life sheer hell without actually using physical violence. Just as both children and NRPs suffer long-term emotional damage as a result of contact/residence problems, there must be thousands of people suffering long term emotional issues as a result of an abusive relationship. I don''t think it should be ignored. But neither do I think a definition of abuse should be so weak it allows ''moaning about going to the pub'' to become a domestic abuse issue. There''s a middle ground here, I think.

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