Coercive control, torture and Tesco on BBC News

News|December 10th 2014

Last night I was delighted to return to BBC News to discuss the headlines. I appeared on The Papers, which is presented by Tim Willcox, alongside Anne Ashworth of The Times.

One story concerned a prominent member of UKIP who is facing allegations of inappropriate sexual advances. It’s all very ‘he-said she-said’ which, although completely different in context, did remind me of another topical issue I have spoken about at length before: ‘coercive control’.

Regular readers of my blog will know that this is a type of domestic abuse which Home Secretary Theresa May wants to criminalise. As I have stated before, making coercive control a criminal offence is very problematic despite it being a very easy idea to sell to the public.

One of the main problems I have with this proposal is that proving coercive control will be very difficult. Like the UKIP story, they would all rely on one person’s word against the other. In a relationship between a man and a woman, would a jury believe that a woman would be capable of such abuse if she is physically smaller than her partner? My experience as a divorce lawyer has taught me that abuse can come from anyone. It’s not always as obvious as it may seem.

We also discussed the United States’ torture program. While the details of what occurred are inarguably horrific, I gave the US credit for releasing them. It was a very dark period in American history and a willingness to be open about the hideous practices is an admirable step to take.

On a much lighter note, we also talked about the problems facing Tesco. I said that there should be a full-scale revamp of the chain. The logo, the colours, the lights (which are simply ghastly!) – everything should be changed.

Finally there was a brief talk about the weather. My Yorkshire readers will know how bitterly cold it has been lately and apparently it’s going to get even worse. So keep warm!

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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Comments(3)

  1. Luke says:

    Marilyn, you will be shocked and concerned to know that I agreed with everything you said on all topics !

  2. Andrew says:

    Marilyn, when you and Luke and I agree does that mean we are all wrong?

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