I’m not talking about the next installment of Fifty Shades but about a new report from the Centre for Social Justice.
Apparently “coercive control” should be considered an offence alongside domestic violence and should be prosecuted even if no physical harm took place.
Examples of this kind of domestic bullying include depriving a partner of money, making unreasonable requests, stopping your partner from taking part in social occasions and, I quote ‘checking levels of cleanliness’ at home.
Now, I’m not suggesting for one moment that there is any place whatsoever for domestic violence or psychological intimidation within our society.
I just think they would have a job defining this kind of behaviour.
The idea of my partner checking cleanliness levels has me rolling about the floor laughing, he’s the kind of guy who thinks he has made an effort when he’s piled his dirty socks up in one corner as opposed to leaving them strewn across the floor, or brought his tea mug downstairs and put it somewhere in the kitchen.
As for depriving me of money, he would have a job to, apart from helping out with the odd birthday present for the children, he never gives me any anyway and I would never dream of asking. We still have separate bank accounts and split bills etc. between us.
On the other hand I once had to turn down a party invitation because he was away on business and we couldn’t get a babysitter, that must count as stopping me take part in social occasions mustn’t it? He would find it difficult to suggest more, most evenings when he gets back from work there’s already a couple of girlfriends over setting the world, or at least or village, to rights over a bottle of something yummy. I can hardly see him telling me to get back to the kitchen with them around.
I do know this kind of psychological control takes place and I’m not belittling it, but the whole thing seems to me like an enormous publicity scheme to get mothers back to work.
I do admire SAHMs, personally I wouldn’t have the patience (and I’m a teacher), however there’s an awful lot to say for having at least some financial independence. It’s not just about the money either, I think going out to work gives you the confidence to know you could leave your husband if you had to, and that’s a good thing to have, for both of you.