Coercive Control

Coercive Control

Any healthy relationship involves a certain amount of influence, but what is the point at which influence is convert into coercive control?

I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard something about the new laws being introduced around coercive control within the UK, I’m really wondering what potential impact it could have upon the polyamory community.

I believe that this will place a massive dependency upon the determination of “Consent vs.Coercion” for us all in the future.

This, in itself in my opinion is not a bad development for those practising any form of ethical non-monogamy, but I have concerns that determination of this difference may have just become a very grey area, especially when you consider that the decision is likely to be taken by a third part that is unlikely to be “poly friendly” and in this instance the legal UK system.

I suspect that it may potentially have a big impact on some areas, particularly couples making a decision to open up their relationships in the future.

Another area that’s potentially at risk is newbies to polyamory, often their first mentors in polyamory relationship are also their first partners. Most of the time this will be fine, as the more experienced partner helps their less-experienced new partner get their feet, however the potential power imbalance that this creates for control and manipulation to arise is a risk.

Basically we all need to start talking about this and making sure we all behave in an ethical manner.

Lets be honest, abuse in a poly relationship can look very similar to abuse in any romantic relationship, but there are likely to be red-flags that help identify specifically in polyamory.

There are also specific challenges for polyamory, due to the way that it’s social networks and communities function within the wider poly world as a whole.

We need to embrace consent, agency and personal autonomy more so we don’t make simple mistakes in this ever changing world.

I’ve posted an extract of this piece to to see what other people think

7 thoughts on “Coercive Control

    1. The potential impact upon BDSM is even greater and I’m working on a piece about that.

      The law potential undermines the whole concept of consent if the law judges your actions in its eyes not to be reasonable

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Especially when you consider that under British law, consent is considered an absolute defence to common assault,but it’s not necessarily applicable to actual bodily harm. This is where the courts may decide that consent is not valid.
        The finally nail in the coffin, consensual activities within the UK may not include “assault occasioning actual or grievous bodily harm” as defined in law.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh dear! I expect to see some right-wing group attempt legislation against those they’ve deemed ‘perverts’ in the not too distant future.

        Coming from a church background and still having ties to it, the backlash is small but consistently ratcheting up against the ’50 Shades’ effect on the fine upstanding people of Mayberry.

        I would not be surprised to see BDSM / Swinger Clubs be the next target by self-appointed Apostles of all that is holy and acceptable.

        It befuddles me that people are afraid of and then must condemn things that have no effect on them whatsoever.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Until the governments in the West fall by their own stupidity – and it is coming, with or without V like Vendetta – sexual minorities will always be a target. Ethical behavior is important, important first to one’s own sense of integrity, then to those with whom we live; but odds are, this is definitely something to watch, and to scream bloody murder if bad shit comes down.

    Liked by 1 person

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