09: Recommendations

The current study offers a range of recommendations, based on the research findings:

  • One area of recommendation identified by participants is the provision of specialist support services for people who are excommunicated or are leaving high-control groups voluntarily. The study identified that individuals might be at risk of losing their accommodation, financial resources, relationship ties and may experience an identity crisis. Specialist support should thus be available in practical areas such as housing support, employability and educational support, grants to help people rebuild their lives, support in establishing new relationships and psychological support to help affected individuals understand the nature of coercive and controlling relationships, to re-build their self-esteem, regain their sense of identity and heal from the trauma they experienced.
  • Specialist support services require in-depth knowledge and awareness of the unique challenges and barriers individuals recovering from high-control group abuse face, such as an indoctrinated fear of secular authorities that may prevent affected individuals from seeking help in the first place
  • Raising awareness and understanding of coercive and controlling behaviour and its effects on individuals. This is particularly important for any professionals who encounter children or young people who are raised in these relationships and environments, to enable early invention and the reduction of psychological and physical harm to children. Other groups that need to receive training are policy makers and legislators. Effective legal interventions need to be implemented to protect the public from becoming susceptible to these groups, as well as addressing unethical behaviour and recruitment practices amongst these groups through legal channels.
  • As pointed out, schools have a unique role in this context, as they are often the only source of outside contact for individuals in high-control groups. As such, being aware of the impact school can have on these children is pivotal. Furthermore, schools also play a unique preventative role, as they have the possibility of offering tailored classes or modules to teach students to recognise and identify signs of high-control groups, as well as develop critical thinking skills
  • Further research is needed in this field to develop a better insight into how these groups operate and on preventative actions for individuals who are targeted by them.

Comments are closed.