Author Jess Hill has a valuable insight into domestic violence and how it connects to coercive control. She is the author of the Stella Prize winning book See What You Made Me Do.
We didn’t really have a framework for discussing coercive control, until relatively recently. But Jess has helped explain it and how it is often in the background when there’s an incident of domestic violence.
She explains that, for example, the bashing of a partner might appear to be a one off. But often there’s manipulation, intimidation, degradation and threats for a long period before the physical attack.
So she’s interested in alerting society to the problems with coercive control. For a start it often leads to violence, as the victim, usually a woman, ‘breaks the rules’.
But it is a form of domestic violence in and of itself, even if there is no incident of physical violence.
Domestic violence expert Jess Hill explains coercive control:
“The perpetrator isolates the victim from their family and friends. They may control their partner’s diary, social interactions and work arrangements. They often monitor their partner’s computers and their phones, frequently making use of tracking technology,” she said.
We need to see coercive control “as a systemic, long-term pattern rather than just looking at incidents of violence as isolated,” she says.
Domestic violence is a major crime which leads to death and intimate partner violence is a leading contributor to death, injury and illness among Australian women aged 18-44.
To help understand this more, also take a look at “The power and control wheel” which can easily be found on the internet. Just punch that term into your search engine. But you can also see it here.
“See What You Made Me Do won the Stella Prize in 2020. The Stella Prize began in 2013 as a literary award of $50,000 for Australian female authors writing in all genres.”
Useful for our American readers:
For a debate on the accuracy of claims about domestic violence and its relationship to death, read: https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-domestic-violence-the-leading-preventable-cause-of-death-and-illness-for-women-aged-18-to-44-94102
The Stella Prize makes a substantial contribution to Australian literature and culture.
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