WOMEN’S AID ‘THE PATTERN OF ABUSE’
Press ad in Vanity Fair to highlight patterns of coercive control.
Women’s Aid Federation of England – the national domestic abuse charity – working with Engine Creative, has launched an arresting press ad in Vanity Fair raising awareness of coercive control, which is at the heart of domestic abuse.
Coercive control creates invisible chains and a sense of fear that pervades all elements of a victim’s life. To show the reality of coercive control, this work conceals a hidden message of abuse within a beautiful pattern, created from a series of questions that form a pattern of abusive behaviour. The behaviour escalates slowly to a grim and frightening conclusion, highlighting how coercive control is designed to control, manipulate or frighten.
‘The Pattern of Abuse’ will run in the March issue of Vanity Fair, in a donation of media supplied by Conde Nast.
Women’s Aid campaigned to make coercive control a criminal offence in 2015.
In the year ending March 2019 the police recorded:
offences of coercive control
The Crown Prosecution Service recorded:
offences of coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.
Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (ONS, 2019) suggest that women are overwhelmingly the victims of coercive controlling behaviour.
of defendants prosecuted for coercive and controlling behaviour in the year ending December 2018 were male.
However coercive control is still yet to be fully recognised and understood.
Awareness is still needed to ensure that the justice system and wider society recognises that abuse is a pattern of behaviour that restricts a woman’s freedom over time – not just single incidents or physical assaults. This ad aims to explain coercive control in a clear and memorable way, and to encourage donations in support of the brilliant work that Women’s Aid do in helping domestic abuse survivors.
The largest leaps in women’s equality have come after periods of global distress and major upheaval. So what action are we going to take?