The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has recently included information about ‘Love Bombing’ in their guidance around domestic abuse. This is welcome news and will help to increase legal professionals’ knowledge of domestic abuse and coercive control, hopefully taking into account the impact of behaviours such as Love Bombing.
Increasing public knowledge is important too, as many people will be unaware of what Love Bombing is, or the fact that it can be a control tactic used by perpetrators.
What is Love Bombing?
Love Bombing is described by Women’s Aid as “...excessive and inappropriately showering someone with gifts, compliments, texts, phone calls, promises, attention, or affection which can quickly turn into abuse.”
The excessive nature of Love Bombing is designed to control someone, making them feel as though they should be grateful for the affection and cannot say no to the perpetrator.
Constant displays of affection can also create a false impression of a perpetrator, which can make it harder for someone experiencing it to leave. For instance, a survivor may worry that nobody would believe them, or they might be considered ungrateful as the public perception of the perpetrator is that they are kind and loving.
It can also be used as a tactic to increase dependence on the perpetrator, reducing contact with family and friends, and isolating them from support networks.
Recognising Coercive Control
It is positive to see the CPS include Love Bombing as part of their guidance on domestic abuse, particularly as it shows that subtler forms of abuse are being recognised and considered. By raising awareness of coercive control and the behaviours we associate with this offence, it highlights the huge impact it can have on those that experience it, which will hopefully be reflected in the sentences handed out to offenders.
Awareness also gives people confidence to come forward for support, knowing that domestic abuse is taken seriously, especially subtler forms such as Love Bombing.
We hope that this is followed up with training for organisations working in the criminal justice space to help them to understand more about coercive control and the ways that this may present itself.
Leeway provides regular Domestic Abuse Awareness training sessions for individuals, businesses, and organisations, to help them spot the signs of domestic abuse and confidently respond to it. We also provide bespoke sessions to meet the specific needs of an organisation. For more information, visit our Training page.