New tools to detect coercive control in a couple
This is a booklet and training aimed at recognize a form of domestic violence that is not always accompanied by physical assault.
Extreme control can manifest itself in monitoring emails, calls, or outings, controlling clothing, or framing relationships with friends and family. (File photo)
By her own admission, it was not for pleasure that Diane “reopened drawers filled with painful memories” on this International Women's Day. But the lady agreed to testify about her past to invite other victims of domestic violence to seek help and break out of the vicious circle of coercive control.
However, what she considered to be attention and interest from her suitor turned out to be part of the strategy of a narcissistic pervert who takes notes on her in order to handle her better.
“At first he was my prince charming, he called me his queen. I was the prettiest, the best.
—Diane, Domestic Abuse Survivor
It was a spider that was preparing me to trap me in its web, illustrates the survivor who, at a certain point, was not even able to tie her shoes without her partner rebuffing her.
Monitoring of emails, calls or outings, control of dress, supervision of relationships with friends and family, imposition of routines or curfew, interference in the parent-child relationship, harassment, belittlement Constant: These are just a few examples of how coercive control is exercised by an abusive partner and results in control of many, if not all, spheres of his victim's life.
This is a form of domestic violence that too often goes under the radar, both of loved ones and of the victims themselves, argues Annick Brazeau, president of the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims de violence conjugale (RMFVVC).
Executive Director of the Shelter For Elles Des Deux Vallées, Annick Brazeau reminds us that extreme control often goes unnoticed. (File photo)
These manifestations can be subtle and do not always involve physical violence, recalls the one who is also the general manager of the shelter For Women from the Two Valleys.
If children complete the family, they too are victims and not only if they witness episodes of control.
The spouse can prevent the children or their stepchildren from talking or making noise. He may prevent their mother from comforting them or even breastfeeding them. Coercive control manifests itself when the spouse even manages the relationship of the mother and her children, lists Céline Rossini, who has designed a toolkit aimed at facilitating the recognition of coercive control for the attention of victims and professionals. brought to work with this vulnerable clientele.
The whole thing was presented by the organization on Wednesday as part of a virtual press conference.
< p class="e-p">At the heart of this awareness-raising strategy is an informative booklet entitled It's not love, it's control, which will be distributed in more than 5,000 copies through the network of nursing homes. #x27;housing for women victims of domestic violence and other resources.
Its designers hope that the examples and definitions provided in the tool will help victims recognize that they are experiencing some form of domestic violence, which is not always accompanied by physical assault.
“The examples contained in the booklet and the testimonial it contains put into words an experience that many women find difficult to describe or identify. It makes them realize that they are not the only ones to have been there, that they are not crazy and that they were right to be afraid. It legitimizes what they went through.
—Céline Rossini, who contributed to the booklet to inform women
Other booklets and training have been produced for the attention of police officers, lawyers and stakeholders so that coercive control is better recognized and considered as a form of violence in the eyes of the law, in the same way as harassment and threats.
The Regroupement is campaigning for coercive control to be criminalized, as is the case in Australia, in certain European countries and in the States States, for example.
All of the tools produced by the RMFVVC are also available in digital format on the organization's website.
Cathy Allen, worker and manager of the Alternative pour Elles shelter and shelter, pointed out that the booklet invites victims to document what they are going through. It's important to keep records and leave them in a safe place, she says. It can help women organize their thoughts, see the gradation of violence, and most importantly, help them tell their story when they're ready to.
Since 2021, under the Divorce Act, family law judges must consider the existence of a context of coercive control to ensure of the paramount interest of the child, underlines the RMFVVC.
“We really feel that a hold of consciousness is happening. We see changes and improvements taking place for the benefit of women. »
— Annick Brazeau, from the Regroupement des centers pour femmes victims de violence conjugale
In 2022, the 47 member organizations of the RMFVVC sheltered more than 2,700 women and 1,900 children. They provided external support services on 26,000 occasions and responded to more than 110,000 requests from victims, their relatives or professionals.