The UK government launched a consultation on Wednesday to look at making it a criminal offense to use coercive and controlling behavior as well as physical harm.
The consultation document reports police fail to see abuse, particularly in its nonviolent form, as a serious crime. Ministers in the government body think nonviolent control in an intimate relationship should be seen as criminal. See the full Guardian article here.
I'll share a short excerpt to show you what I mean.
By the way, there's nothing like personal experience to drive a writer. Every past occurrence and emotion stored in the little gray cells can flow in the written word.
The pine fragrance of wood-shavings hung over the workshop. She yelled over the drone of the lathe, "Here you are, darling." He nodded.
She girded her loins. She'd giggle at the stupidity of the concept, if her independence wasn't so serious. How many times had she been over the words to use? One more try. Remember that good, kind thoughts can change the world—change her world from one of loneliness, imprisoned with ... stop it. Remember that he's not deliberately controlling. The lathe droned on.
How could she put it? What about: 'Now that we're isolated in this small town, I think I should learn to drive, don't you?' Well, she knew what his answer would be to that one. Think again. 'You know, if I learned to drive I could take Kaelyn and Alissa to the next town ... if they wanted to compete in the basketball matches or if they needed to go to a bigger library'.
Quivering inside with anxiety, she readied her mind and took up a confident stance. Ammunition primed, shoulders straight, chin up.
"Gareth, I've been thinking."
He turned to her with a closed face.
Deep breath. Firm controlled voice. "I want to learn to drive, and I think it's important now we're in this isolated spot. It's not as if we can take a bus that comes along every ten minutes, like we did in Adelaide." The lathe screamed on, and a curl of wood fell to the floor to join the others. One soldier down.
"How many times do we need to go over this?" he yelled.
She ignored his impatience and maintained her sense of humour. "Till it's settled."
"It is." He dropped his hands, and the hum of the motor seemed quiet in comparison. His expression softened with his sigh. "There's no need for you to drive. You volunteer at the local school. You can walk there. On the weekends I can take you or the girls wherever you need to go."
Finish this. "But you could be busy, or we might need to go to separate places."
"We'll have to," his well-modulated voice spoke with calm, with reason, "organize it ahead of time then." He twisted back to his work—shut her out. End of discussion.
She marched out to regroup.
Would you class this form of control on a par with physical violence? Do you think the law on domestic violence should include mental abuse?