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DV definition changed

  • soulruler
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18 Sep 12 #356551 by soulruler
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I agree with you again Rubes on the subject of Domestic Abuse rather than violence.

The more I hear about Scottish Law the more sensible it sounds to me.

The Police recognise DV as financial abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse and they have a great leaflet which they hand out so that if you are a victim you can see just how.

Feeling that your partners spending habits are totally out of control and you are responsible without any say or control is just as demoralising I think (mine was also a reckless spender).

I dunno, I am depressed and anxious and have a horrible doomy feeling about stuff.

I am going to cheer myself up by getting my post counter to 1000 today (well I will have acheived something)

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18 Sep 12 #356562 by rubytuesday
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Bizarre.... After requesting the date of the publication of the Govt''s response to the consultations a number of times, I have just received this email from the HO (after the announcement today that the Govt will announce plans to include coercive control in the definition of DV :s)

Reference: T12398/12 17 September 2012



Dear Ms XXXXX,

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 September about the consultation on domestic violence. Your e-mail has been passed to the Direct Communications Unit and I have been asked to reply.

On 14 December 2011 the Home Office published a consultation inviting views on whether the current cross-government definition of domestic violence should be widened. We sought views on whether the current definition is being applied consistently across government, and if practitioners, victims and perpetrators understand it.

There were four options for consideration in this consultation, which are as follows:

• The definition of domestic violence remains the same
• The definition of domestic violence is amended to include coercive control
• The Government''s definition of domestic violence is extended to all 16- to 17-year-olds
• The Government''s definition of domestic violence is extended to all those under 18.

The consultation closed on 30 March and we are now considering the responses, so an announcement will be made in due course.

Yours sincerely,


Hulya Ahmet
Direct Communications Unit


erm, how can they still be considering the responses when they have already made a decision?

  • Yummy_Mummy
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18 Sep 12 #356563 by Yummy_Mummy
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Gosh.

Don''t even know where to begin and there is alot I cannot put on here...so I''ll keep it generic.

Hmmm, no comment about papers such as Daily Mail.

I had been in 20 year relationship and actually he left me and I fell apart - I blamed myself for it and that the abuse I received from him? Well I didn''t even know that he was abusing me. I got used to him and his ways. Actually I didn''t know any different.
I believed what he said and I did what he said.

After having children, it became worse.
My life wasn''t the same. For years I have been house-bound reluctant to go out, any effort I made was not an effort as far as he was concerned.
I heard and was convinced everything he told me.

Cohersive Abuse? Yes I now know what it is now...well, I am learning. Yes, had it all - financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual and physical but like life nothing is B&W. No one has that much time to listen and care.

I was told I was an unsupportive wife, a neglectful mother, selfish, rubbish with the money, a disaster in the bedroom....shall I go on?

There was nothing I could do right.
I am now told I received some mental and emotional battering; I now can talk about it to people face-to-face with a smile on my face whilst crying, trying to keep a brave face but I''m no good at it.

I think even the Courts saw it but he walked away free and without any care and I still gave decent residency for the sake of the children. I worry all the time about the children now.

Now what with divorce, I''ll be free and it is all over - really? No It won''t be over.

He isn''t stopping. He has his ways and no one can stop him.

I can really relate to what you''ve all written but it makes me sob as to why? And why not make them stop?
It hurts and I am still very frightened.

These people are clever perpretators, what you see is not what you get.

So while he and many walk free, there are some of us left in a mess, perhaps with permanent damage and then there are children....

...and the Law does what exactly?
:(
I think I better stop now.

  • soulruler
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18 Sep 12 #356564 by soulruler
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The feeling that possibly the general public do not really have a say is just getting more depressing by the minute.

Lets hope the letter isn''t as closed shop as it sounds, I was sort of hoping that various articles recently were meaning that the law was becoming easier to understand not less.

  • u6c00
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18 Sep 12 #356576 by u6c00
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Ok, now I''ve had a bit more opportunity to think on this I reckon I can put down a less satirical response.

In my opinion coercive control has too many implications for it to ever become a part of statutory law. If you consider that in every debate or argument you are trying to coerce the other party to believe as you do. Therefore the nature of interaction amongst people is coercive.

The implications of any attempted legislative change to include coercive control are too damaging to contemplate. Just as now you can construe normal behaviours to make your case for ''unreasonable behaviour'' in a divorce, so normal behaviours could easily be construed to be coercive. In divorce there is little consequence (divorce being largely non-fault) to unreasonable behaviour, while suggestions of coercive controlling behaviour (and by extension domestic violence) can stigmatise a person for years or decades, damage the reputations of families and stop parents having reasonable contact to their children.

Dukey gives a fantastic example earlier about his friend cutting up his wife''s credit cards after finding massive debt. As Ruby pointed out, some organisations would view this as domestic violence. Equally the husband might make the argument that the wife''s reckless spending of the family money has forced him to increase the amount of hours that he works and has reduced the amount of time he spends with the children. She has coercively controlled him.

So in my opinion there can be no definition sufficiently broad to meet the government''s objective, whilst being sufficiently narrow to exclude normal behaviour.

I of course accept that emotional abuse and controlling partners is a real and genuine problem. I have spoken to plenty of people on her who have suffered some horrendous abuse that is not violent.

I think that this is not a problem that can be solved by legislative change. Instead it''s a problem that requires a change in the views and opinions of society as a whole.

To me that means that people need to be made aware of the reality of this kind of abuse. It is a sad fact that the majority of people who were mentally abused (and not physically) did not see the abuse for what it was within the relationship. It''s only with the benefit of distance that people finally see what ought to be right in front of their faces.

How many people, having lived through the abuse that they have, would put up with criticism of their appearance, intelligence or competence from a new partner?

Perhaps people need to be made aware of what is normal and appropriate behaviour within a relationship BEFORE they have to suffer. Seeing abuse with hindsight is too late.

I should say that I hadn''t seen the words ''emotional abuse'' before I separated from my ex.

So my view on this story (journalistic quality aside) is that it is a positive first step. The change in the definition will not result in a change in the application of the law as Dukey said (I paraphrase) but I hope that it will result in a change in the way the police and other agencies act.

Some well placed advice to someone suffering from emotional abuse/coercive control might be all that is needed to help them see their situation as abusive, and that is going to be the first step towards getting them out of that hole.

  • Yummy_Mummy
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18 Sep 12 #356583 by Yummy_Mummy
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My point simply being that...

...there should be public awareness with what does happen and what can happen. Media should be involved in bringing awareness.

Victims should be given support and more organisations should get good not just adequate training.

Women''s Aid deal with more than they can chew and the Government''s input and investment? Funding? Costs? Training? There are some talented people out there who cannot reach their potential due to DA and DV. These people would be beneficial to our industry.

Better and regular training in identifying abuse should be provided for Doctors, GPs, Health Visitors, Carers, Schools, Counsellors, Employers, Police......

Law can be supported by these people and then Legislation will work and nightmare might reduce if not stop.

If it is so subjective, such as point about ''cutting the cards up'', then what are the definitions.

Life doesn''t work from a manual, wish it did.:ohmy:

  • sexysadie
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18 Sep 12 #356590 by sexysadie
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Just a couple of things:

I think some of the reactions here are taking the definition a bit too literally. I''d be amazed if Dukey''s friend would be considered to be a domestic abuser. Financial abuse is much more than cutting up one abused credit card. However, it does happen; we''ve had people on Wikivorce who have clearly been victims.

The thing about under 18s is not supposed to apply to parents dealing with children/teenagers. That would still come under child abuse. The issue is that there is increasing awareness among youth workers of violence in some teenage couple relationships, mainly boys hitting their girlfriends, and the girls beginning to take the abuse for granted, possibly setting them up for lifelong abuse. So it needs to be possible to take action in these cases and get the perpetrators into treatment programmes while they are still young enough to change relatively easily.

White Rose is an organisation founded by men, so I''m not sure that you can really refer to it as ''extreme feminist''. There is also stuff on their site about male victims and about violence within same-sex relationships, and information for abusers who want to change. Why is that so terrible?

The thing is, it''s easy to define DV as physical violence, and of course if you bring in other things it becomes more difficult. But by not trying to broaden the definition you leave victims with no support and no means of redress. This is particularly likely to be true of male victims who are less likely to be believed if we rely on a violence-only definition.

I also feel uncomfortable when people focus on how easy it would be to make false allegations, and aruge that this means that we shouldn''t broaden the scope of DV. That is analagous to saying that because it takes place in private we can''t take action on rape that occurs between non-strangers or within marriage. Is anyone really denying that these things don''t happen?

Best wishes,
Sadie

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