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Vera Baird praises radio show ‘The Archers’ for tackling ‘Coercive Control’ topic

5th April 2016

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “Anything that raises awareness of domestic abuse, that demonstrates some of the classic behaviour that we understand as coercive control and may help others to spot signs of abuse in a friend or family member is hugely welcomed by me. It’s great to see a mainstream radio show tackling such an important topic.

“Coercive control is used by perpetrators to control every part of someone’s life, it can be sexual abuse, financial control, constant criticism, isolation from family and friends, repeated threatening texts or stalking whenever the victim is out of sight – these are the types of behaviour adopted by the abuser such as Rob – the character in the Archers.

“This behaviour undermines the victim’s confidence and freedom and can ruin lives, sometimes going on for years leaving victims seriously undermined and afraid.

“At the end of December a new coercive control law was introduced to help officers become more pro-active in identifying victims too frightened and controlled to speak out.  This offence also gives victims the confidence to come forward feeling they will be taken seriously about abuse, even if they have no bruises or scars.

“Here in Northumbria we take this type of abuse extremely seriously and have trained all police officers, at all ranks, to understand this dreadful crime. Since the new law came into force, Northumbria Police have recorded a number of coercive control offences so the offence is being used and the training is working. I urge anyone who has any concerns to come forward and seek help. Our officers will do everything within their power to put an end to their suffering and provide the necessary support.”