Specialist in domestic abuse recovery
People leaving or have left an abusive or controlling relationship are fully aware of the dangers they will face, but unaware of the system they have to fight to be believed and protected. Caron is the coach you call because she knows what's ahead of you and how to prepare you for your future. Abuse doesn't end overnight.
Caron coaches people in all stages of divorce, and you don't have to be in an abusive relationship to utilise her services. Importantly, she is a qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advocate, which means that she can support you in the courtroom should you need (UK only). With 16 years of working in this space and personally experiencing abuse, Caron understands your needs with safeguarding processes, social care, police and other organisations that you may need.
Domestic and coercive abuse can happen to anybody.
It happens to confident, articulate, and educated people of all financial levels. The common denominator is that the abuser breaks your sense of self, destroys all self-confidence and essentially takes away your voice. It can be quick, or a slow drip into the relationship. For example, a marriage of 25 years is where a person continuously adjusts themself to suit their spouse and as time passes by, their sense of self has faded away. Confidence, voice, and judgment have been beaten down over time. If someone is brave enough to end their relationship, they will have no idea what to do or who to turn to. They won't have the ability to articulate what they are afraid of, especially when it's not physical abuse.
How do you make sense of this when this is your normal? How do you step away from the control, the rules? How do you even know it is abuse?
What do people Google in this situation?
What is abuse? What is emotional abuse? Why am I depressed? They will search social media platforms for help. Many will see their Doctor for depression, and it takes a good Dr to ask questions before prescribing medication to realise that abuse is the issue. Colleagues, family, and friends can also help shine a light on the reason for being so miserable.
Support is crucial.
How do I support my friend or family member in trouble?
Stay connected. The abuser will often isolate the abused by demanding they cancel arrangements or sabotage events. You will need to keep inviting them for a walk, or coffee, even though you know they will decline. Pop in unexpectedly, and keep showing them that you are there. You don't need to bring up the abuse in conversation, but you can ask open-ended questions that get them to question their reality.
'You don't seem yourself lately.' 'I see you cancelled again. Why is that?'
Try and boost their confidence which is already on the floor. Encourage them, offer your sofa, your spare room, or let them know they can call you day or night. They need to know there is a lifeline, a safety net.
People who are in abusive relationships often feel isolated and ashamed (as do people getting divorced). It is known that women even when happy in the work, will leave because of abuse and controlling behaviour by their partner. Designed to isolate them and remove financial independence. It would be great if HR could ask some questions when someone quits their job that could help people in this situation. It doesn't help that women are generally less financially savvy and let their partner control the finances. When in financially abusive and controlling relationships, they have no access to their own finances, and won't know how much money is in the bank account, savings, or investments. They can be led to believe there is no money available.
Caron also helps her clients navigate the legal system and safeguarding processes. Coming out of controlling and abusive relationships means her clients are very overwhelmed and scared. They have also learnt to minimise situations by saying, 'I am good. Everything is fine.' when they clearly aren't and will need help presenting themselves to the professionals. Clients also learn tips, tricks, and coping strategies on how to manage their abusive ex. The abuse can fluctuate, and being prepared can mitigate stress, reduce reactions, and enable them to push through their fear and be ready for what comes next.
There is always an SOS call option.
Co-parenting is difficult at the best of times, but with an abusive ex, you need to navigate this area of complexity. Caron helps create parenting plans designed with workable specific boundaries that are liveable. In the UK, 50/50 custody has become popular as it means no child support to pay. It doesn't mean during their time they have to be with the children, as long as they organise child care. They can become a Disney parent, start turning up to all the school events and want to know every tiny detail of their kid's life, which can be exhausting. On the flip side, they can become avoidant and lose interest in the children, which is also very hard to cope with.
Divorce is a bereavement. Divorce from abuse and coercive manipulation is even worse. It can even pose a threat to life, and the best advice Caron gave me is,
'Most abusers are coercive, emotional, harassing, pestering, lie, manipulative, send aggressive emails and messages, and will turn up at the door ranting. The more people that know what is happening, the safer you are. When you are silent, you protect the abuser. When you expose them, the world is watching them.'
If you are questioning your marriage, asking yourself if you are in an abusive partnership, and are thinking of leaving, head to Caron's website where you can access plenty of essential information or read her book that has real stories and practical advice to help you prepare yourself. And if you are in the midst of a divorce and need support, reach out to Caron. Her knowledge and kindness will remind you that you are not alone.
Caron can be found on:
IG , X, and Facebook: @caronkippingcoaching
If you want to share your story or you are a professional who wants to share some insights please email me at email@example.com