Friday, 12 February 2016

The problem with the new law on none physical Domestic abuse in the UK.

The news has broken that according to research done by Women's aid almost a third of women aged between 16 and 24 say they've been in a controlling relationship. The study also seems to suggest that many women don't realise they're in a coercive relationship until they break up.

On its own I would say that this little nugget of information is interesting even if certain aspects of the research, who did it why it was done etcetera could perhaps be called in to question when you partner it with the fact that a new law was introduced to the books in the UK in December a law which basically states that none physical domestic abuse is now a crime, that for example partners who control victims via social media or spy on them online could face up to five years in prison this is when you have something which really needs talking about.

First of all I think it important to admit a harsh truth here, I am a male survivor of domestic abuse. The government says coercive behaviour can take any number of forms, including: the following (and more). Isolating a person from their friends and family, 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, and who they can see, repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless, financial abuse including control of finances, criminal damage (such as destroying household goods). I have chosen these particular ones as they are all things I have personally experienced. Something else I experienced though was the wrath of the abuser after I had escaped them.

People always say ''I dont know why (s)he stays in a relationship like that'' and it is easy to judge from the outside and it might seem like you can just get up and leave but the truth is things dont just end like that once you have gotten out you have to survive the aftermath. In my case my x partner spread lies about me, outed personal information, things I had shared in confidence and she actually managed to get people who had once befriended me and who said they would do anything for me to turn there backs on me, to ignore me and in some cases even actually spit in my face. Part of it was that she tried to claim that I had been emotionally abusive. In the end she assaulted me and the police charged her for it but beyond that the situation ended in a sort of stalemate situation with her outright lying and claiming to have had done to her all of the things she had done to me and more.

This law which can see people get done for none physical domestic abuse is a good thing in theory but in practice it is going to be a very hard law to uphold, after all conviction will require evidence and very few people enter in to a relationship with a open jotter ready to consider how they are treated at every turn and to write down instances where they have been wronged, it all runs the risk of becoming a situation where the one who can best play the role of injured party is the ultimate winner. I guess I will have to keep an eye on the news and see how this law and the cases it effects play out

I feel that I need to end this post on a positive and the positive is that not all relationships are horrible ones filled with dread and fear. It can be hard to get out of an abusive relationship but it can be done and once it is done you can get your life back on track.

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