A Sheffield Charity, Mums In Need, will feature in a new BBC2 documentary called Womanhood. The programme will hear from celebrities including Strictly Come Dancing Judge, Shirley Ballas, writer Chidera Eggerue, businesswoman Jacqueline Gold, singer Sinitta Malone and comedian Suzi Ruffell. Together, they want to explore the role of women and their place in society.
The celebrities meet with Laura Riley, Chief Executive of Mums In Need, to discuss coercive control and the importance of supporting women in the aftermath of domestic abuse. Controlling and coercive behaviour in relationships became a crime in 2015, and is punishable by up to five years in prison. It is defined as long-term controlling behaviour from partners, including bullying, degrading, gaslighting (tricking a person into doubting their sanity) and controlling someone's finances or alienating them from seeing friends or family.
Mums In Need provides emotional and legal support to mothers who have left emotionally-abusive partners, but with whom they have children, so have to maintain contact. The charity is reliant on grants and public donations to survive and also provides counselling, 1:1 caseworker sessions, legal support, financial advice and wellbeing workshops for mums requiring their services.
Laura Riley, Chief Executive of Mums In Need said: ‘It's great to see a spotlight on the subject of coercive control, and more importantly, understand some of the signs in which to identify it. It’s a common occurrence in the UK, amplified during this pandemic, and to hear from celebrities whom can relate to our work is humbling. I myself am a survivor of a coercive relationship and I hope the programme helps women in a similar situation, encouraging them to contact organisations like ours for help’
The documentary is due to be aired on the 26th November at 9pm on BBC2.