Felicia Chew on Religious Coercive Control

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This was originally posted on Facebook.

Re. The Linked Article at: https://www.facebook.com/110660902299929/posts/2402861069746556/

I have mixed feelings about this one. Some of the details (Unsecured shotgun by the bed; Refusing to let the police officer see their son) are reminiscent of my life while being under religious coercive control.

What Is Religious Coercive Control?
It is a form of abuse. In a family, it should be considered domestic violence. But it’s not. The UK, Australia, and two states in the US have coercive control listed as a crime (see www.feliciachew.com/dvss for more info and to read about the Legislation we started drafting in 2017).

I really hope that Chandler Police Department has a Domestic Violence investigative unit that can take a deep look at the parents and their involvement with any religious groups they may be involved with.

To clarify, while I was under religious coercive control, the “home church” had enough Biblical teaching and reference that many of the practices made sense… including the excusing of “excessive discipline” (which disturbingly was deemed okay according to policy by the officer who responded from the Tucson Police Department in 2011).

The “home church” also used the strategy of ostracizing members of the church, and I fell victim to this practice, until it attempted to ostracize people who I loved. That old adage: “It’s okay, until it happens to you” was very much the case in my situation.

Time to Speak Up
I began to speak up about the “home church”. I am thankful to friends, to Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, and other local individuals and agencies and groups (including the Tucson Police Department) who helped me find my voice.

To further clarify: I believe that Law Enforcement has a purpose : to serve and protect the community. In California and Tucson, law enforcement has always been responsive to my concerns, and I have expressed appreciation as best as I knew how.

Anti-Police?
I am still perplexed about why in 2017, the Tucson Police Officers Association stated that I was anti-police. I still cannot figure that one out. I advocated for more funding for vests for officers while on the Citizen Police Advisory Review Board – Past Chair; and I even questioned the actions of the young woman who was pushed over the bench by Sergeant Mann. At the time of the announcement on their Facebook page (that I was anti-police), I reached out to TPOA for comment, but received none.

Thanks To:
I would like to publicly acknowledge the Tucson Police Department and give thanks to several members including: Captain Chad Kasmar, Captain John Strader, former Domestic Violence Detective Belinda Morales, Chief John Leavitt, Deputy Chief Sharon Allen, Jason Winsky and Sergeant Hill, who have helped on my family’s journey to help end the cycle of domestic violence.

I would also like to thank several friends and colleagues who have helped on this journey, including: Kirsten Engel, Stacy Scheff, Alfred Urbina, Coralie Chef Ghini Satta, Austin Alexander Counts, 4th Avenue Deli, Marcella Watson, Chance Quinn, Eb Eberlein, Al Perry, Meka Love, Kuuleme Stephens, Christopher DeSimone, Adriana Pfund, Stells Di Rossi, Jesse Hite, Mark A Jordan, Cindy Rocx, Jeff Rocx, La Cocina Restaurant & Cantina, Ghini’s French Caffe, The Gloo Factory, Betts Printing, Action Print & Copy, Midtown Tavern, Steph Johnston, Jasmine Pierce, Zena Later, Surly Wench Pub, Rosemary Bolza, Sarah Gotschall, Vicki Gee, Rene Friedkin, Linda Petersen-Vargas, Carol Hammond McMillan, Todd Clodfelter, Ivanna Ferrá, Regan Kulseth, and many others who either do not have Facebook or who I am unsure want to be publicly named.

Next Steps:
My small business Felicia Chew Community Projects is working to help end systemic domestic violence through education, advocacy, and outreach. We have been working to fill in the gaps and fix the loopholes that exist in the system.

How You Can Help:
Be a friend.
Be factual.
Don’t be judgy.
Have empathy.
Listen.
(More info on how you can help is available at www.feliciachew.com/enddv)

And, if you are able to help support my small business financially, more info is at www.feliciachew.com/support.

Thanks for reading to the end of this post 🙂
Kalamajong. ❤
– Felicia


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life. Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”

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