Equality is not a competition and we must change the narrative! #equality
When did equality become a competition? Every time I look at social media and the media it feels like a competition and battle of the sexes. Why as a society are we not trying to make sure everyone is equal and life is balanced? Why does it feel that one person has to be more of a victim than another person and that the same situation cannot happen to both?
These are questions I have been asking myself for a very long time, I know the answer to them but how comes no one else does? We are so caught up in fighting and defaming each other that the people that need help are being forgotten. How is this helping anyone or society in general? Its not, we should be making sure our laws are the same for everyone and not specifically for one type of person, how is that equal?
Surely, if there is a blanket law to protect everyone does that not make more sense? Am I missing something? The reason why I highlight men’s issues is that we don’t tend to talk about them, publicise them or get any recognition for them we as men don’t have feelings or nor can we suffer the impact of domestic abuse and coercive control apparently.
What is Coercive Control and some of the Behaviours?
When an abuser uses a pattern of behaviour over time to exert power and control. It is a criminal offence.
Prosecutors are advised that a pattern of controlling or coercive behaviour can be well established before a single incident is reported. In many cases the conduct might seem innocent – especially if considered in isolation of other incidents – and the victim may not be aware of, or be ready to acknowledge, abusive behaviour. The consideration of the cumulative impact of controlling or coercive behaviour and the pattern of behaviour within the context of the relationship is crucial. This approach will support the prosecutor to effectively assess whether a pattern of behaviour amounts to fear that violence will be carried out; or serious alarm or distress leading to a substantial adverse effect on usual day-to-day activities.
Further assistance can be obtained from the Statutory Guidance published by the Home Office pursuant to section 77(1) of the Serious Crime Act 2015.
Building on examples within the Statutory Guidance, relevant behaviour of the perpetrator can include:
- Isolating a person from their friends and family
- Depriving them of their basic needs
- Monitoring their time
- Monitoring a person via online communication tools or using spyware
- Taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they can go, who they can see, what to wear and when they can sleep
- Depriving them access to support services, such as specialist support or medical services
- Repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless
- Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim
- Forcing the victim to take part in criminal activity such as shoplifting, neglect or abuse of children to encourage self-blame and prevent disclosure to authorities
- Financial abuse including control of finances, such as only allowing a person a punitive allowance
- Control ability to go to school or place of study
- Taking wages, benefits or allowances
- Threats to hurt or kill
- Threats to harm a child
- Threats to reveal or publish private information (e.g. threatening to ‘out’ someone)
- Threats to hurt or physically harming a family pet
- Criminal damage (such as destruction of household goods)
- Preventing a person from having access to transport or from working
- Preventing a person from being able to attend school, college or University
- Family ‘dishonour’
- Reputational damage
- Disclosure of sexual orientation
- Disclosure of HIV status or other medical condition without consent
- Limiting access to family, friends and finances
Men often experience this behaviour post-separation but never report it or speak to anyone about it. Why? The main reason is we are not or have not been educated on it, it has always been seen as something only women go through. Men have been taught from a young age that they are perpetrators and victims can only be women. This is why men suffer from the impact of coercive control and domestic abuse in silence which leads to serious mental health problems and even suicide.
Voices of Male Victims of Coercive Control (UK)
We cannot continue to fight each other and not understand each other’s needs, just because we are men does not mean we cannot be vulnerable or bullied etc. It happens more than you think due to unequal laws and a false narrative that men cannot be victims of anything. Equality is not something that can be thrown around as and when but should be a fundamental part of our society.