Victims First, which supports victims of crime and abuse across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, has launched a video ‘Don’t Disappear’ to raise awareness of coercive control and emotional abuse in relationships.
‘Don’t Disappear’ follows the story of Jamie and Emma, from the seemingly loving early stages of their relationship, to the development of abusive behaviour.
Although anyone can be a victim of coercive control, ‘Don’t Disappear’ is particularly aimed at younger people who may have less experience of relationships or people who are at the beginning of a relationship, to raise awareness of the red flags which at the time, may be missed or misinterpreted as acceptable behaviour.
The video covers a range of controlling behaviours exhibited from Jamie to Emma including:
- Jealousy and possessiveness including accusations of flirting and cheating
- Isolating her from her family and friends
- Controlling the use of her phone and social media
- Constantly checking on her whereabouts
- Sudden outbursts of anger and mood changes, and
- Love bombing - showering her with excessive affection and attention in order to retain control
Although in this example Emma is the victim, both men and women can be victims or perpetrators of coercive control which can take place in heterosexual and same sex relationships.
Other examples of coercive control include, depriving someone of basic needs, monitoring their time and activities, taking control over aspects of their everyday life such as where they can go or who they can see, humiliating, degrading or dehumanising someone, controlling their finances and making threats or intimidating behaviour.
- Victims First is managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley. It provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime or abuse, as well as family members of victims. It is available across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.
- To speak to a member of the Victims First team and to receive support please call 0300 1234 148.
- You can also find more information or make a referral for support online at www.victims-first.org.uk