Engender Equality Plate

The dangerous form of abuse around food that often goes unnoticed

I was constantly run off my feet so I could never take a moment to myself for anything. Nova, late 20s

Food control is a form of coercive control that is often invisible and potentially life-threatening, explains Alina Thomas, the CEO of Engender Equality.

Food control was just one aspect of abuse Nova experienced in the relationship she has since escaped.

“If he didn’t want to eat what I was making, he would demand I leave to get something else for him,” Nova, in her late 20s, says.

“He’d say he’d watch what I was cooking, then allow it to burn while I was gone so … me and my children would have nothing.

“Other times, he would give food set aside for her children to his pet dogs, or take it out of the fridge so it went bad.

Nova’s ex would steal money she needed for groceries, make negative comments about her body, stop her from exercising, and criticise her food choices.

He would also make demands around food that impacted her ability to complete basic daily tasks, like showering.

“Every time he wanted a coffee or something to eat, he would have me drop whatever I was doing to make it for him. Like stopping me from bathing, or [he would] wake me up in the middle of the night to go make him what he wanted.

Read the story at ABC online