Domestic Violence | Separation | Male Controllers

“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
O can’t you see
You belong to me…………” By Sting

domestic violence during separation and divorce

I have always thought this Sting song was one of the creepiest things I ever heard. When you read about the textbook controller-victim case of Simon Gittany who murdered his girlfriend Lisa Harnum, it is downright scary. Media reports tell us that Gittany controlled his partner’s every move, and that this form of family violence ultimately escalated to him mudering her in a state of rage.

The only good thing to have come out of the media coverage of this crime is that maybe some women who are in these kinds of controlling relationships will get out before the psychological violence escalates to physical violence. Or they might be able to hear the warnings of their friends and family who can see what the woman in the relationship cannot see. Women need to know though that the time of separation is dangerous, as the controller seeks to take back control, and may continue to do so long after separation. Support and a safety plan are essential when leaving these kind of men.

It is difficult to listen to what Gittany’s new partner Rachel has to say in defence of his behaviour towards the first vicitm in this story, Lisa Harnum. Hopefully she, Gittany’s second victim in this story but no doubt not in his life, will not be waiting for him at the prison gates in 18 or 26 years, because it is unlikely that his behaviour will have changed for the better in the meantime.