Backlash was founded by survivors of emotional domestic abuse. These woman found themselves alone and unaware that they were in emotionally abuse relationships - now recognised in legal terms as coercive control. The offence of coercive control now recognises that domestic abuse can take several forms and is not strictly limited to physical violence.
We are professional women who are offering a self-help support group for women who are experiencing emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can happen to anyone; we want to reach out to woman who are in or have been in this situation and let them know that they are not alone.
We can off a sympathetic ear as well as signposting individuals to professionals who can support them should they need more than simply a friend to chat to. We have information of where people can access sources of practical or trained emotional help; or just offer reassurance that you aren’t as crazy as you’ve been told you are! Everyone’s experience is different, and all women are welcome, whether or not they wish to leave the relationship. It can be therapeutic to speak to others who know first hand of the subtleties of emotional abuse and coercive control.
Many victims of coercive control/emotional abuse are unaware that this is happening to them and probably do not not identify themselves as being in an abusive relationship, but just know that something is wrong. Some abusive behaviours might be so familiar in our local society that they are ‘normalised’ by many. This does not mean that they are okay!
The following behaviours are just a few of the signs that an individual is involved in an emotionally abusive relationship:
• Feeling that they are being isolated from family and friends.
• They are afraid to disagree with their partner or made to feel that they are being ‘argumentative’ for holding their own views.
• The feeling that they are constantly walking on eggshells; and changing their behaviour in order to please their partner.
• The feeling that they are going mad, or are told that they are crazy.
• A partner denies events or conversations that they know for certain have happened.
• Their opinions are regularly ridiculed.
• They feel unable to make any family decisions, or told that they are ‘just wanting your own way’ when disagreeing on issues.
• Feel that they have to ask for money or their access to money is controlled, monitored or restricted.
• The partner is extremely charming in company but their behaviour changes once they are alone.
These behaviours are usually very discreet and because they can't be 'seen' and are not evident marks on a person, they may go unnoticed and unchallenged. This type of behaviour towards another human being is not ok and must not be accepted. Emotional damage may not be visible but is as destructive as physical abuse. If it took physical form, victims of emotional abuse would be covered in wounds and bruises.
Help is available locally, through Women's Aid (01472 575757), although many emotionally abused individuals may be reluctant to take advantage of it because they believe that they don’t fit the stereotype so no one will believe them. Or, they they feel that they don’t have broken bones or bruises therefore are not entitled to help.
We have established Backlash is a self-help group, purely for support in a friendly non-judgemental setting, meeting regularly to talk to and support each other. We do not want any financial gain from this group. Both founders have reduced their working commitment to part-time in order to develop that group so that it was be of maximum support to the women in NE Lincs that need us.
We have kindly been offered premises to meet free of charge. We estimate that we need to raise around £500 to fund the domain name for website; a phone for people to contact us regarding a meeting location - obviously we do not want to give out our own phone numbers; literature so that we can establish a 'library'; and funding to enable us to invite professional support workers to our meetings. We would greatly appreciate any donations and would be happy to discuss this project further should you have any queries. Please contact us at email@example.com or on 07387 807316.
We feel passionately about this project and supporting women in our local area. We know, from our own experiences, that their is a need for this group in our area. We want to work alongside Women's Aid and NELC to offer support to women.