Now that we are beginning to talk about finding a way back to normal after isolation, many of us will be looking forward to getting out and about, being able to see family and friends etc. and returning to school or work.
Stop and think for a moment though…there may be some people who have welcomed the time apart from a significant other or are dreading the thought of seeing them again.
Spare a thought for victims of Coercive and Controlling behaviour…
In 2012, the UK Government added guidelines to their Domestic Violence definitions to include…
Unfortunately and perhaps shockingly in current times where we see young adults able to express themselves safely like never before, I see cases of Coercive and Controlling Behaviour within relationships all the time.
Also unfortunate and shocking is the fact that few young people, females in particular; even know what it is.
I see young people who’s partners are
circulating indecent images of them
shaming them on Social Media
controlling access to their friends and family
controlling their dress and image
To help young People understand what Coercive and Controlling Behaviour (a form of domestic violence) is, I’ve put together a case study below which is sadly a common story…
Emily is going out with Karl. They have been together 3 weeks. Emily’s best friend, Jaz doesn’t much like Karl. she thinks he is too controlling and has seen a change in Emily since she has been with him.
Emily tells Jaz that Karl loves her and only wants the best for her. Karl actually thinks that Jaz is controlling also. Emily and Jaz fall out.
Two weeks later, Karl shares indecent images of Emily on Social Media. When she confronts him, he says it’s because he is so proud of how beautiful she is and wants his friends to be jealous. He adds that she should never question him.
Karl has told Emily that she is not to wear makeup except when she is with him and he also controls what she can wear if she goes out without him. She rarely spends time away from him except for family functions.
People have started to notice that Emily spends a lot of time with Karl.
Emily tells herself that Karl treats her badly sometimes but overall he loves her. She has distanced herself from her friends and has no one to really talk to.
She doesn’t see anything wrong in Karl’s behaviour as he doesn’t hit her or hurt her.
THIS IS NOT OK! IT IS A FORM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!
My frustration is that many young adults, particularly girls, fall victim to this type of behaviour partly because they don’t understand that it is wrong.
The feelings we have, when we experience our first love are intense and we can find ourselves trapped in a bad relationship, hoping to feel those feelings again. Unfortunately, this rarely happens and those lovely feelings are often replaced by negative feelings and fear.
If you or someone you know may be affected, please seek help from someone you trust or contact a specialist organisation for more help…don’t suffer in silence, we all have a choice and a right to be happy!
Check out my 3 Bully Busting Facts and 3 Top Tips for beating the bully in your life…
With the recent rise in cases of Domestic disturbance, it highlights to us all that not everyone is having a fun time staying in.
Several terms are being used to talk about the behaviour that falls under the wider umbrella of “Bullying”.
It is worth saying at this point that if you feel threatened in any way please get help.
FACT 1 – The majority of bullies have very low self-worth
FACT 2 -The bully needs you more than you need them!
FACT 3 – YOU as the victim have the power
Bullies project their behaviour onto others to get a reaction and to help them feel better about themselves. This is not in any way a strategy to feel better about yourself and so the bully never feels any better.
A lot of bullies are repeating behaviour they have been exposed to in a strange way, they want you to feel as bad as them. this creates a need in them…YOU
Before your bully came into your life you were probably getting along quite happily and you will get along quite happily once they have left your life. So, you need to recognise your power and make a decision to stay in this stagnant relationship, or leave.
If you choose to put some Victim Va Va Voom in your life and leave your bully in the dust, here are my Top 5 Tips…
1. Get to know your bully
This doesn’t mean you have to try and be friends. What I’m talking about here is playing them at their own game. Your bully has been studying you to see where your weaknesses are. These may be to do with your appearance, life choices etc. You need to focus on them. I don’t mean become a stalker, just simple observations…trust me.
Ask yourself if they seem happy, do they seem anxious, does anyone else like them, who stands up to them?
The simple act of switching your attention onto studying them will cause some micro changes in your body language which will be noticed.
2. Try a different reaction
Remember, your bully will be used to seeing you avoid them, perhaps getting upset etc. so let’s shake things up a bit.
Depending on how brave you are feeling, you can try one of these two reactions…
Walk away from your bully but in your head, channel your favourite celebrity or a person you admire who would never stand for this abuse. Count to 100 before stopping or looking back. AND SMILE!
Don’t walk away, agree with everything they say whilst yawning and looking at your watch or phone. Ask them to let you know when they are done. They will probably get really angry at this point and direct more abuse at you so make sure you prepare for this and try and stay calm.
3. Look at yourself
Once you have dispatched your bully and have returned to your great life, you need to be really honest with yourself and look at some reasons why you may have become, and more importantly, stayed a victim. Once you can identify what happened, you will then be far more effective at ensuring you are never a victim again.
Just remember that bullies are only humans too, they have floors and they can be defeated but you hold the key to this.
If you would like to know more about the psychology behind this intricate and common relationship, click here and leave your email address to be the first to know when my interactive online course to beat bullies comes out soon.
Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. Find out more here