We’ve probably all triumphantly stood on some sort of raised platform (a wall, park bench, bollard etc) and triumphantly proclaimed ‘I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal’ to the people around us. We were probably about 5 or 6 years old at the time. Most adults don’t need to consistently lord it over others by giving themselves false superiority. However, there are some adults which do need to do this, and you can commonly find them as the persona of ‘King of the Castle’. This month we’re continuing our series of posts on the Dominator by looking at this persona which needs to be at the top of the pyramid.
How does a King of the Castle gain and maintain power and control over their victim?
A King of the Castle uses male privilege to make his victim feel subservient. The saying an Englishman’s home is his castle and so it is in the home little by little, over time, our abuser will manipulate his victim into servitude. Here are some of the tactics a King of the Castle might use:
- Treats you as a servant/slave. It may start with him asking if he can wash some clothes at yours. He then needs specific instructions on how to use the machine. He might ‘accidentally’ slip a red sock into the white wash. Soon it is far easier for you to do it yourself. You ask him to clear up after dinner. He complains, he exclaims how dirty things are, he expects recognition, thanks and congratulations for his efforts, he does a sub-standard job. Soon it is far easier for you to do it yourself. Whatever the household chore, the pattern repeats itself. It then gets to the stage where your role is to serve him in whatever way the King of the Castle wishes around the house. It’s your responsibility to make sure food is on the table, the house is clean and his shirts ironed – whether or not he works himself. This expectation will extend to any girls in the house – they will be expected to wait on the abuser and any brothers they may have.
- Says women are for sex, cooking and housework. The King of the Castle reinforces the stereotype that a women’s place is in the home. She is too stupid and low of status to have a job or pursue her education. He persuades the victim she is needed in the home. That he needs her in the home.
- Expects sex on demand. Because the King of the Castle believes that a woman’s primary purpose in life is to fulfill the needs of men, he therefore sees it as his right to have sex with his victim whenever he wants. Sharing similar beliefs and attitudes with The Sexual Controller (see previous article), the King of the Castle sees women as objects and not as people.
- Controls all the money. The King of the Castle will want to have control over all the finances of the household. Whether earned income, savings or benefits. It is likely they will not allow their victim access to bank accounts or any means of getting money apart from what they give them. The King of the Castle may give their victim an allowance, but this will be barely enough to cover the weekly shop and things needed for the children. She is forced into begging her abuser for more money, which he will use to his advantage and to make her feel small.
What to do if you’re living with a King of the Castle
If you’re living with a King of the Castle then please know there is a way for you to escape. You do not have to continue living as a slave to someone else. You have so much more value and worth than your abuser would have you believe. As we state in each of these articles, each abusive relationship is so unique it would be irresponsible to write our ‘top tips for dealing with Kings of the Castle’ in this article. Instead our advice is to please visit one of our One Stop Shop or Drop In services where one of our experienced and friendly team members will listen to your story and work with you to stay safe and, if you want to, become free from the abusive relationship. In the mean time, here are a few tips for staying safe with a King of the Castle:
- Do some research. Read about male privilege and how it oppresses women. Question why so many adverts for cleaning products are directed at women. Read about women who have done amazing things outside of the home. Because the King of the Castle’s power is found in making you believe as a woman you aren’t capable or worth doing anything other than serving him. Once you start believing differently, you will believe you can break free.
- If you can, make copies of information to do with all your finances so that if you do decide to break free, you are more able to access money (of get the courts to help to access money) once you do.
- If it’s not too late, set up a secret bank account and have any money he doesn’t already know about go into it. Ask a friend or family member for all correspondence to go to their address.
- It may not be safe to simply stop doing things around the house until you have worked with a professional to devise a safety plan. You don’t want him to be suspicious you are planning to leave him, or you don’t want him to escalate his abuse in order to get his way.
- If you are at the very early stages of a relationship then you can nip this behaviour in the bud by not falling for his claims of incompetence or his requests for glory over the simplest of tasks. It’s a ‘give an inch and he takes a mile’ kind of scenario. To be honest, if he is a King of the Castle and you resist, it might mean the end of the relationship – but if it does you can definitely consider it as having been saved from something worse.
- If you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 999.
If you are living with a King of the Castle then please believe you were made for more than this. Come and get help from SATEDA and we will help you on your journey toward freedom and discover of what more is waiting for you.