Dear James, Part 2


Dear James,

I know you have a PhD but I’d like to open your mind up to a term that may be new to you called coercive control.  Really, you’ve never heard of it?  I find that amazing.  Let me tell you all about it.

Coercive control is a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand that domestic abuse is more than a “fight”. It is a pattern of behavior which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty, freedom and sense of self. It is not just women’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights.  Yes, MY right to be a human on this earth.

Coercive control also shares characteristics of crimes (yes, what you do is criminal!) like kidnapping and stalking.  You deliberately entrapped me with your control.  You deprived me of my liberty, my equality and my personhood.  My world was constantly monitored, criticized and controlled through an unpredictable set of unwritten rules.

I am a human being, James.  I just wanted to be loved.  You wanted to destroy me through a pattern of deliberate and damaging abuse.  And even more, you wanted me to keep quiet about what you were doing.  I will not.  I refuse.  I will not be silent.


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