Domestic violence Twitter hashtag raises awareness of non-physical abuse

Coercive control, emotional manipulation and passive aggressiveness are common yet overlooked signs of abuse


Rachael Revesz
Friday 25 May 2018 09:41 BST
It's not just bruises: coercive and controlling behaviour is now a criminal offence
It's not just bruises: coercive and controlling behaviour is now a criminal offence (Alamy)

Maybe he doesn't hit you, but he makes passive aggressive remarks and labels you as the “crazy one” for reacting to the bait.

Maybe he doesn't hit you, but he threatens suicide if you want to leave him.

Maybe he doesn't hit you, but he tells you that you are not allowed to go out wearing that skirt.

These and thousands of other forms of abuse have been listed on twitter under the hashtag “#MaybeHeDoesn’tHitYou”, as women have been sharing their experience and understanding of domestic abuse within relationships.

The subject of coercive control became a national talking point following the storyline of Helen and Rob on radio program The Archers, where Rob’s manipulation of Helen built up over hundreds of episodes and resulted in Helen stabbing him with a knife.

It became a criminal offence in December 2015 in England and Wales to carry out controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships, with a maximum imprisonment of five years.

The UK government defines domestic violence as psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

The conversation around what constitutes abuse started to trend on social media after an LGBT and women’s rights activist in Wisconsin, Jerome Trammel, posed the question: should a woman get permission from her husband or boyfriend when she gets her hair cut? He said he wanted to show the responses to his female friend, who had been told she needed permission.

In the UK, according to a government Crime Survey for England and Wales, 1.3 million women and 600,000 men were estimated to have experienced domestic violence in 2014/2015.

In the US, every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten by a partner or ex-partner.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in