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Controlling and coercive behaviour

Due to the Father in this case, denying allegations made by Mother, the Court listed a fact-finding hearing; the purpose of which is to determine, on the balance of probabilities, of whether an allegation happened.

During these hearings, if any of the allegations were found to be true, it is likely to have a significant impact on the long-term arrangements for the children.

The Mother in this case, has a number of health issues, and the children have additional educational needs as well as medical needs. Part of the Mother’s case was that the Father caused her to have an unhealthy dependency on him due to her health issues, which were actually well managed. The Father used his “concerns” about the Mother’s health as a way to stop her to doing social activities and to track her whereabouts.

Controlling and coercive behaviour is a pattern of incidents. The use of an air tag to help find your keys or a suggestion that one takes care of yourself by perhaps not going out one evening. Whilst this in itself may not be concerning behaviour. The issues arise when the behaviour is repetitive, it causes anxiety and fear in the other, and creates a dependency.

This type of behaviour can present itself in many ways and there are varying degrees of control and coercion. It is often hard when you are in the relationship to notice what is going on, as the severity develops over time.

Often the hardest step is leaving the relationship and breaking that dependency cycle.

To read the summary and full published Judgment, click here;

Harriet Hudson
Harriet Hudson
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