Conference in Bury St Edmunds will shine a spotlight on coercive control
A conference in Bury St Edmunds aims to raise awareness of a form of domestic abuse - in which someone exerts ‘coercive control’ over their partner.
The event at The Theatre Royal on February 4 will bring together professionals from a variety of backgrounds to share information.
A new law was introduced in December making it illegal to exercise coercive control, which is subject to a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine, or both.
Min Grob set up ‘Conference on Coercive Control’ as the issue is close to her heart.
She said: “There isn’t one act that defines coercive control - it’s specific to the relationship. It’s about domination, subjugation and isolation over a victim - distorting their reality so they feel completely on their own.
“For example, it could be about making the person feel as if they’re mentally ill by maybe making it look like they’ve forgetten they’ve done something.
“Another situation could be removing the children, exposing a secret or controlling the money. It’s also about using anger to subjugate - controlling someone by making them believe something could happen.”
It is Ms Grob’s second conference after she held her first in October at The Apex, which attracted about 90 people.
Speakers at The Theatre Royal event include police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore; Polly Neate from Women’s Aid; Jenny Hopkins, chief crown prosecutor for The Crown Prosecution Service and criminologist Dr Jane Monkton-Smith, who developed the DART (Domestic Abuse and Stalking Reference Tool). There will also be a chance to hear about personal experiences.
Asked how coercive control can be policed, she said: “The police need to understand the dynamic of domestic violence and too many are stuck with the idea that unless you can evidence it with a black eye there’s no proof but you can evidence it if you know where to look. You have to be able to stand back, look at the whole situation, the relationship and the pattern.”
Ms Grob is also training to be a lawyer to work on domestic violence cases.
Tickets for the conference are available from the Theatre Royal box office. Call 01284 769505 or visit www.theatreroyal.org