A national conference on coercive control, which is open to all is coming to Bristol this June. It was founded in 2015 by survivor and campaigner Min Grob, as a result of leaving an abusive relationship. Finding that many were unable to see how someone who was softly spoken and ‘always helpful’ could be an abuser behind closed doors, Min made the decision to start campaigning. Coercive control is not an anger issue, nor is it a ‘couples arguing’ issue, but has much more in common with being held hostage and it is this which is often misunderstood.
There have already been 3 national conferences, all of them held in Bury St Edmunds, a picturesque market town in Suffolk, and this move out of the area is part of a plan to take the conference nationwide, with Liverpool being the location for the 2019 conference.
These conferences differ to others in that they are aimed at everyone and anyone. Whether you are a survivor, know someone who might be, are a lawyer, a teacher, a GP or a paramedic, a police officer or magistrate, a social worker, an academic or student, a designated safeguarding officer or a counsellor, this conference aims to increase anyone’s understanding of abuse that routinely falls below the radar, as individual acts can often look trivial or can be disguised as acts of love to someone not familiar with the abuse being a pattern of behaviour.
The theme of this conference is ‘MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE’ and will highlight tactics used by perpetrators to keep the abuse specific to the victim. Often it is difficult to identify abuse that is bespoke and although coercive and controlling behavior in an intimate or family relationship was made a criminal offence in 2015, coercive control can be seen everywhere, not least on social media where the taunting and mocking of abusers is often mistaken for trolling when it is, in fact, far more insidious and has many parallels with stalking. With the use of social media examples, Min is able to illustrate how behavior that is often mistaken as ‘tit for tat’, is actually a result of targeted belittling, degrading and humiliation to specifically elicit a response from the victim, and often there will be several people involved in a campaign of mobbing although this is often difficult to identify, this being the nature of coercive control which lurks below the radar.
The conference will take place at the University of Bristol on 11th June 2018 and promises to be a full day of learning and understanding. University of Bristol is the perfect venue, with its strong tradition of research and education in all aspects of domestic and sexual abuse. In fact, the very first conference held in October 2015 in Bury St Edmunds included two speakers from Bristol – Dr. Maggie Evans, who lectured at the University before retiring, and barrister Lucy Reed.
Speakers at this event include Dr. Karen Morgan, a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, Bristol based barrister, Sarah Phillimore, Dr. Emma Katz, who researches the effects of coercive control on children, John Trott, a retired Detective Chief Inspector, Domestic Homicide Review Chair with 18 years’ experience as a Hostage and Crisis Negotiator. Rachel Williams, a campaigner who survived 18 years of domestic abuse and being shot by her estranged husband who recently released a book, and Rebecca Sharpe and Sophie Mortimer both of the Revenge Porn Helpline, a charity which offers free support and advice.
As well as organizing conferences, Min is the editor of online magazine CCChat, which aims to look at and around coercive control. She is also a public speaker who has supported a number of victims of coercive control going through the Family Court.
Tickets can be purchased from EVENTBRITE. A limited number of concession tickets are available.
“Coercive Control is all around us, hidden in plain sight. We need to know where to look “
Min Grob Founder, Conference on Coercive Control
Conference on Coercive Control
Raising public awareness, bringing professionals together and signposting.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Min Grob on: firstname.lastname@example.org.