Wednesday, 30 December 2015

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted, spun or selectively omitted to favour the abuser or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception and sanity. wikipedia

Gaslighting is the attempt of one person attempting to overwrite another person's reality. 

Gaslighting is a dangerous part of coercive control.

The term Gaslighting was first coined in 1938 by the play "Gas Light" and the film adaptations thereafter that helped enhance the popularity of the term.

Gaslighting is one of the most dangerous, extreme and effective forms of emotional and psychological abuse and is mostly carried out intentionally. Gaslighting is a game of mind control and intimidation that is used by narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths as a way of controlling, confusing and debilitating someone.

The intention of Gaslighting is to decrease another's self-esteem and confidence so they are unable to function in an independent manner. The person being Gaslighted will eventually become so insecure that they fail to trust their own judgment, intuition and are unable to make decisions for themselves. Eventually, the victim will become so unsure of what reality looks like that they become completely dependent on their abuser. The abuser will appear to the victim (and those around him and the victim) to be the only one to have a clear "grip" of their mind, the situation and what is going on around them.

The perpetrator will...

Lie, alter reality, change the rules, disorientate the victim, withhold information, exaggerate information, be aggressive and angry; disagree with the victim, tell you you're wrong, tell you half the story (one way or another), create mistrust, call you names, insult and humiliate you and will even flirt and cheat and tell you-you are imagining it and it is all in your mind.

The perpetrator will...

accuse the victim of always being negative, paranoid, misunderstanding everything, being stupid, jealous, insecure and vulnerable.

In the play, Gas Light, the husband used forms of manipulation in an attempt to drive his wife crazy, for example, he deliberately dims the gas lights in the house but tells his wife she is imagining it. With the use of various tricks, he tried to convince his wife that she was going insane and also that she was losing her memory.

The Gaslight effect happens slowly and over a long period of time (20 plus years in my case) whereby you do not realise what is happening and your sense of reality is so compromised that you eventually believe that it must "you" that is the problem, not the perpetrator.

Gaslighting usually happens in stages...

Here are some of the signs...
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work
4. You're always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend or boss
5. You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happy
6. You frequently make excuses for your partner's behavior to friends and family
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself 
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists 
10. You have trouble making simple decisions
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person - more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless
13. You feel as though you can't do anything right
14. You wonder if you are a "good enough" girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses

Gaslighting does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone regardless of gender, culture or social standing.

Resources and Further Information:

References: wikipedia/Elephant Journal/Psychology Today

Written by Elaine Hook, Survivor of Domestic Abuse, Safeguarding Expert, Education Consultant & Trainer

What is Coercive Control?

Coercive control is a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand domestic abuse as more than a “fight”. It is a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self; it is not just bodily integrity which is violated but also human rights.

What is Coercive Control?

We traditionally think of domestic abuse and/or violence as physical, an incident or series of incidents of physical violence perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner and indeed this is often true but coercive control is much more than a "fight" between two individuals.

Coercive control is a crime of liberty, freedom and human rights and now a crime in law under the Serious Crime Act 2015 Section 76 (see below for more information).  Indeed violence is a part of the act (or behaviours) but there is not always violence. If violence is at all part of the abuse it can be a small part and hidden, both behind closed doors and on parts of the body covered by clothing, this in order to save face and reputation of the perpetrator. You will often hear victims comment that the emotional, verbal, mental, financial and sexual abuse left deeper scars that any punch could ever do.

The rules are based on the perpetrators stereotypical and self centered views of how his/her partner should act or behave towards him/her. Rules about how he/she cooks, keeps house, mothers/fathers, dresses, speaks, laughs, eats, socialises and performs sexually. The perpetrator will isolate, degrade and micro-manage every aspect of the victims daily life. He/she will play mind games, monitoring phone calls, text messages, friendships and work. The perpetrator creates a world where the victim's every move is constantly checked, watched and monitored against an ever changing non-existent book of rules that change hourly (or even every minute) and are unpredictable and threatening. The perpetrators watchful eye and micro-management will continue from a afar by constant and persistent phone calls, texts, emails, harassment and stalking.It can seem as if the perpetrator is omnipotent!

The basis of coercive control is fear and confusion which are central to this insidious behaviour and crime. The victim lives in a world of moving of goal posts and shifting of the earth beneath their feet every minute of every day. Walking on eggshells around their abuser, the victim is constantly living in a confused state or fog, just existing, in a world filled with terror and fear. Eventually, the victim suffers low self esteem and confidence and can become severely depressed. During recovery a victim can suffer post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Coercive control is not just domestic, it does not just occur in the home, it can cross social spaces through technology, social media and through surveillance that can spy, track, watch and follow the victim throughout their daily life, tracking their car, texts and emails. The victim becomes brainwashed and adapts their own behaviour to accommodate the perpetrator in order to endeavour to keep the peace. A victim lives with this day and night and has huge strength of courage to survive the ever changing goal posts and rules.

There is also another form of coercive control whereby the perpetrator behaves in such a way that he/she causes the victim to feel insecure and unloved. The perpetrator can regularly "flirt" and meet with others both physically and online, to make his/her victim feel jealous and then accuse the victim of imagining this situation, being paranoid and jealous. Reverse psychology. Making the victim the problem due to the perpetrators negative, unsavory and unhealthy behaviour.

A survivor's voice...

"He raped me on numerous occasions forcing me to have sex because he needed it and held me down even through my tears. He ensured the act was completed on his terms, in his time frame and satisfying his own desires. He was demanding, kinky and rough and did not stop when asked. He showed no compassion for me even when I suffered gynecological problems and had no empathy or sympathy and was still extremely demanding and rough sexually. When he was particularly vile he with-held affection and used affection and sex it to blackmail me. He definitely got a kick out of degrading me and enjoyed his power of force; power and force in the bedroom definitely turned him on.

This sick man criticised every move and action I made; he was never satisfied with anything I did or owned.  Nothing was ever right and he was never thankful or grateful.  He controlled, isolated, threatened, terrorised, insulted, humiliated and belittled me. He told me I was crazy, a head case, got a screw loose, stupid, dishonest, a liar, psychotic, paranoid, mentally unstable, should be locked up, put away and that I had a personality disorder. He critisised my cooking, house keeping, what I wore and how I spoke. He told me I was thick and stupid on numerous occasions. 

These types of abusers confuse their victims so badly that the victim eventually believes the propaganda being thrown at them.  You feel dirty, humiliated and disgusted with yourself.  The abuser tells you over and over that you are crazy and paranoid.  Mine often said I had a personality disorder and behind my back and unbeknown to me he wrote to my GP stating this.  He damaged my whole being with his mouth, mind and fists."

Coercive control does not discriminate it can happen to anyone regardless of gender, culture and social standing.

Resources & Further Information:

Serious Crime Act 2015 - Section 76 Statutory Guidance Document here: 

Serious Crime Act 2015 - Section 76 - legislation here: 

Coercive Control by Evan Stark
Women at Risk by Evan Stark

Research: Cedar Network / Wikipedia / / Evan Stark

Written by Elaine Hook - Survivor of Domestic Abuse, Safeguarding Expert & Education & Training Consultant 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Hope for Domestic Abuse Survivors

My article (below) has been published on the charity website as part of their 16 days awareness programme  Domestic Abuse and Violence of all genders entitled - Hope for the Future

Please support this wonderful charity if you can.

You can view the published article here:

A Survivors Story

I have a lot to be grateful for right now:

A family that supported me when there seemed to be no hope
A beautiful daughter who has always warranted my hope and given me a reason to hope
A roof over my head where I have found peace and safety
Friends who have encouraged my hopes and dreams
Peace and sanity in a world where once there was no hope
A career that confirms hope exists and where I give hope to others
Happiness where there was once sorrow

But you see it has not always been like this. Thirty or more years ago my world was turned upside down and fell apart when I had to recognise and accept that the man I had fallen in love with and married was abusing me in every way possible.

Initially, it was verbally and emotionally but slowly over a long slow period of time he added mental, financial, sexual and physical abuse to the list of vile behaviours that, in my vulnerable state, I thought were normal in all marriages. So, over a twenty five year period this man gradually reduced me to a quivering wreck with no self-esteem or confidence and isolated me from family, friends and colleagues. Sadly, I thought this was how everyone lived. You see, no one ever talks about their marriage, do they?

It was difficult for me as no one in my family had ever been abused before (or at least we never spoke of it). I was the first and only divorcee in my family and still am. I was the first and only single parent in the family. Things like that didn’t happen in our family. The shame and guilt was too much to bear and I still have moments (albeit small now) of guilt and shame at what happened to me.

My ex-husband was charming in public but vile and frightening behind our front door. Who was going to believe that this eminent business man was abusing his wife in every ways possible? His grooming and coercion were indefatigable and he was able to groom those around us. I lost several close friends that swallowed his lies and deceit.

On reflection I realise, even if I had stayed, there was nothing I could have done to change his behaviour and attitude towards me. You see, nothing I did was ever right or good enough for this man. No dinner was ever delicious enough. No house cleaning was ever clean enough. My driving was never professional enough. My love and care was never warm enough. I never “looked” good enough. I didn’t contribute enough to the family. He told me I was nothing; no one would ever want me; don’t ever think of leaving; because no one will have you. Can you believe that I believed his propaganda?

I suffered in silence for over twenty years trying to make our marriage work and keep the family unit together until he made the biggest mistake of his life. He dragged me by hair across the kitchen and pushed me against the wall in front of my mother. Horror struck the whole family. Things had to change after this event. Someone, other than me and my daughter, had witnessed the other side of him. It was a life changing moment for me. This is when I became stronger and began to take some of the power back. But when we, the victim, become a fraction empowered it can become more dangerous and his words, temper and aggression increased. He was losing control; he knew I would leave one day.

And we did. My daughter and I fled. After loading the car with our bare essentials and gathering my personal papers, I collected my daughter from school and we never returned. I told no one, so no one would have to lie for me. I sent a short text to inform him his daughter was safe and we were finally free. But the abuse didn’t stop. The abuse escalated in the form of text messages, phone calls and stalking. This went on for years. We moved house several times, changed phone numbers, but somehow he found us and he threaten to kill me and kidnap my daughter on many occasions. Life was scary, unsafe and disconcerted but we survived.

I have now been free for 16 years. It’s been a hugely long haul. I have had to rebuild my life with my daughter from scratch. Remember we left with nothing, and I mean nothing. I have had to try to be as good a mother as possible in an impossible situation. Grieve for all the losses, both emotional and material. Put together a home again, from scratch; from a wooden spoon to washing machine, a duvet to sofa. Build a career from nowhere. Rebuild a life for myself. Find peace of mind, sanity and some sort of happiness and learn to trust again, which has been virtually impossible.

Thirty years ago many of the charities and support programmes didn’t exist and were not so widely available. Domestic abuse and violence was not talked about openly back then. I knew nothing of refuges and support groups. I have achieved most of this alone with the support of my wonderful family although many years later I needed trauma therapy and counselling to assist with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and I did complete the Freedom Programme.

31st October 2015 was 16 years since I fled; Halloween night. Finally, I feel I have come full circle and I am back to where I should be. My daughter is now twenty six, she is smart and intelligent and a beautiful person who I am very proud of. We are very close and take care of each other, nothing will ever spoil that. I have a beautiful cosy comfortable cottage in the middle of nowhere where I find happiness, peace and tranquillity every day. My career is perfect. I now work with victims of types of abuse all over the world, sharing my story through inspirational speaking at conferences and workshops. I live close to my family who are as supportive as ever. And there is my gorgeous black and white cat, Rosie, who has been a blessing in my life. All in all finally life is good and the hope I kept in my heart has been realised.

I have always been a positive person and throughout this ghastly ordeal I have continued to try to manifest and believe it would all come good in the end. I have always worked hard, stayed strong and had hope even in the toughest moments, hours, days and years that there was a reason why I had to suffer this ordeal. I now believe that I couldn’t carry out the work I do, helping, supporting, advising and caring for child and adult victims of abuse with the understanding, compassion and empathy that I have if I had not suffered this myself. You see, I get it, I know what it feels like; I can still feel, hear and smell the fear, I can relate.

I am a different person now for the better. I have learnt so much about people and situations and so, today and for the future, I will continue to turn the very desperate and negative experiences I have endured into positive work for others wherever and when I can. There is hope.

I will leave you with these amazing words:
Think you got the best of me
Think you had the last laugh
Bet you thought everything good was gone
You didn’t think I’d come back
I came back swinging
Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you this was just my beginning
You messed up my dreams
But made me strong
Thank you

Elaine Hook

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Domestic Abuse by a Nigerian in Nigeria

Recently I was contacted and made aware of this ladies abuse by a post she placed on Facebook. Her story is as follows:

On the 4th of November this got an offer letter to commence as the Secretary to the Vice Chairman of The Flour Mills Nigeria Plc obtained through a Recruitment Agent. Due to the fact that the Vice Chairman (who she was employed to work for) was out of town she was asked to commence at The Flour Mills Nigeria Plc for a supposed induction. It was during this period that she met Ikechukwu an IT help desk employee. In order that employees without vehicles can commence work many employees car share. This gentleman lived a few streets from the lady in question and offered her a ride to work with several other colleagues.

From this time communications began and it started to become a relationship. At the beginning of December she was advised that the Vice Chairman had now returned and she was to join him and work at the Flour Mill offices in Ikoyi. She stayed in touch with Ikechukwu and saw him in the area. Towards the end of December she mentioned she had accommodation issues to Ikechukwu and wanted to find a place of her own but explained she was not financially able. She mentioned to him she was going to take a loan from Ren Money Micro-finance Bank, which she went ahead and processed. He was of the opinion that once she got the loan she should hand over the money to him so they could rent a place together. Quietly, she rejected this offer because she didn't want to become a sex slave to him, which was something he had requested from the beginning of the relationship. He also demanded for awkward sex moves, which she refused and declined. He called her all sorts of names, which she ignored. Ikechukwu went ahead and paid the agent to get the house where he had people he could use, that's why they kept asking me who the landlord of the house was. 

Eventually, she paid for the house with another agent at Ita Faaji, Ikotun and secured the house at Oja in Agodo, Ikotun. From the moment she secured the house she noticed he was not happy about it. She asked him once to come and see the house but he refused and commented that she should not have taken this particular house and that his father's had a house in Ikotun and she could have lived there. Again she refused this offer and he got a carpenter to fix the house while she was at work.

She moved into the house at Ikotun and it was peaceful the first week. He kept asking her about the house; she mentioned she was not used to living alone but she would get used to it. She noticed during conversations that he always knew when she got home, what she was wearing in the house and when she went out to buy something. She got so furious on one particular day that she had to peep outside to see if she could see him. She took all this as a joke initially, but after 2 weeks of staying in the house they started to have communication problems. Banging on her front door and ceiling started. She would wake up 2.00 and 3.00am shouting "who is there" and would hear footsteps run off. She complained to him and asked him what he felt she should do, he just laughed at her and made fun of her and when she said she was going to report the problems to the police, he sounded alarmed and quickly replied, "don't do anything to your neighbors, they are good people". She has to pause and pinched herself. How did he know they were good neighbors if he had not been to the house behind her back?

These incidences continued and each time she threatened him with the police nothing would happen for a week then when whoever would see no police activity the behaviour returned. This was happening all the time they were having communication difficulties and  at this time she noticed he had a particular sex worker that he hired for sex and her naked pictures were on his phone. There were times the sex worker would even call him while they were at a restaurant and he would snap at her lying that the phone call was from his cousin.

She talked to the agent who got the house and he gave all sorts of excuses. The issue became serious when the said landlord came around one day and and asked to discuss everything and she discovered it had all been a set up with everyone covering for each other. At the end of the discussions one of them told her not to worry and that it was someone that she know that was causing the problems and the person wants to get in the house and so they suggested she put light outside so she could see him when he passed by. At this time Ikechukwu was pressurising her to leave Ikotun and go to live with her younger brother. She advised him she would be staying in Ikotun even if it was far away,  but he kept pressurising and complaining that he hardly ever saw her. Unfortunately she obliged, to have peace from all the banging, but that was an error, because that gave him an avenue to have access to her and her home.

She moved to her brother's house and only went to Ikotun at the weekends; the moving didn't help the relationship as it became more difficult to communicate with him. She requested her documents be returned that were on his hard disk and asked for them to be copied to her PC. He refused insisting that he would copy them to her PC himself, but he never did. The arguments became heated and constant and since she couldn't put up with the stress any more, the  relationship was falling apart. She arranged to collect her data and he began to comment suggesting what the evil he can do to her. She was a little taken back and remembered he confessed once to her that he had joined a cult and had connection to do with "
jazz". She asked him about it but he advised he had left , which eventually she found out was a lie. He still had not returned her data and she couldn't access her CV, personal credentials, pictures and other personal items and he had begun using this personal information against her.

They kept trying to make the relationship work and then he came arrived at her house at and was to supposed to deliver some products she was taking to work. But before his visit the office dispatch rider had already asked her during a conversation if it was true that Ikechukwu was able to come to her house in her absence. She was shocked, but kept quiet and when he came to drop the product at her house he was behaving strangely and was scanning the ceiling and laughing. She asked him what he was looking for, he said nothing. When she saw him out she was surprised when one of her neighbours, a young guy, recognised him and was very shocked. She was very puzzled and gave him a curious look but he would not answer or speak to her.

During this period she got a call from Ren Money Micro-finance Bank telling her that they couldn't take a payment from her bank account. She was furious because they had deducted the first month with no problems. Later they sent a text asking her to pay into a GTB account and it was during this time Ikechukwu also opened a GTB account which she had queried and asked him why and for what? He just started stamping his feet on the floor and refused to give an answer. Then the worst occurred when she got a call from the "so called" Ren Money Micro-finance Bank from a man called Seun telling her that she should resign from work and they would waive her loan. She called the marketer that worked there and was told that the guys were wicked and she had better pay their money. She asked "which guys?" She was so sure 
Ikechukwu had a hand in it as he had previously been pressurising her to resign from work when she refused to request money from her boss.

She told Ikechukwu about the Ren Money Micro-finance Bank issue and he just laughed at her when she got angry and deleted his numbers from her phone. He still tried to insist they stay as friends but she said she was not willing to because he was passing her personal details around. In fact he had messed with her phone and before she knew it he was diverting her calls and even calling her contacts telling them all sorts of rubbish and sending them all the dirty photo shopped photographs he had with him just to hinder and stop anyone who might be interested in having any relationship with her. He was endeavouring to isolate her from male and female relationships and friendships and it didn't matter whether it was work, business or any positive yielding relationship.

She attempted to moved on with her life, but Ikechukwu never did; he continued to stalk her. He started hacking into her e-mails and social media accounts; even sending e-mails and starting conversations with her friends and contacts. She became scared to send e-mails for her boss since he kept hacking her e-mails accounts. He would even use the documents her boss asked her to send via my e-mail. She saw him twice at her house in Ikotun late at night, while she was taking a bath. He would walk past the window and on another day around 11.00pm she saw him walking around the compound. She yelled "what do you want", he simply walked fast and went into the neighbours apartment. Another day she came out early, around 4:30am, going to work and saw him in the next door neighbours living room. He actually stood up from the sofa he was sleeping and she was so shocked to see him, wondering what he was doing at Ikotun when he lives in Idi-Araba. Another day, a friend who she complained to about the incidence, came to visit and while she escorted her friend to her home, low and behold they met Ikechukwu coming into the premises, immediately when he saw us he almost turned to run but she thinks he felt she didn't recognise him because she didn't acknowledge him and he walked straight past them and entered the neighbours house right next door to her apartment. On another day she was returning from work and saw him running out of the premises, from the side of her apartment and she saw they had been inside her apartment, destroying her possessions and pouring sand and stone into her food. 

Ikechukwu, while they were dating refused to let her see his friend, or have any closeness to anything about him but one day she forcibly confronted him in his area of town and she caught sight of two of his friends, who just looked at him, gave him a knowing look of which he just returned. He went as far as taken her shoes, clothes and personal belongings to perform "jazz". He joined forces with the neighbours so that when she was working on her PC at home, she would hear him asking, "what is she doing?" Another day she returned from work and he drove past her in a red VW golf, stopped, looked at her and started laughing.

The ceiling climbing became more severe when the relationship ended, so much so that her ceiling was punctured. She went to the Police Station, who took a statement . Then all of a sudden he stood up and told her she should go home and that they couldn't arrest the person unless she came out to grab him in the middle of the night but she should not allow him to rape her because that's what he wants to do. She 
was absolutely perplexed. She was more surprised when she had to go to her church and eventually when the problem became too much to bear she went to her Pastor for some counseling and support and was shocked when the Pastor advised that she should understand that when a man is chasing you that he wants to marry you by force. He told her to go away and when she knew he would let her know when she needed deliverance. I got up feeling stupid and was like, "what, this is even going on in the church?"

She eventually managed to pay the loan back and resigned from work after he placed her pictures in every bus stop. He told everyone that he wanted to marry her but that her boss at work wanted to steal her from him and that she was just after money. Everyday when she goes to work she gets regular abuse, especially senseless females who think his behaviour is love. As if that is not enough, he took the pictures to every single area around where her home is and where she might go for an interview and when that was not enough, he started taking photos of her socialising in local hotels and insinuating that she was harlot. Later he would tell people she was insane. H
e then started photo shopping her picture with that of the sex worker he carries on with and proceeds to show people pictures of her having sex with him or holding his penis or even doing absurd things which are false. This is the man she told bluntly she was never going to have sex with him and then he said he would sort himself out. She wondered what he meant by that comment until she saw the naked pictures of the sex worker he has sex with on his phone. She so shocked the day she saw pictures on Facebook photo shopped like that of a harlot. No one knew of that picture or had it not even her, it had to be him. He steals her ideas and sells them, says he writes her social media articles and regularly uses her tweets.

She reported this case to a Lagos State NGO and was away in one of their homes for seven months, She came back this July and this man is back at stalking her again; running to places showing them pictures that are not her and telling all sorts of lies about her. In fact he set up women who regularly abuse her, calling her names at the house and at work. He has photo shopped naked pictures his sex worker with her face on them instead of the sex work. It is amusing that his parents are the leaders at Deeper Life Bible Church, Idi-Araba. She wants to believe they know what their son is doing, and wants to believe that some people at The Flour Mills are aware of this, yet they are not saying anything. He as been lying to individuals that he is married, which is a lie; he is not married and keeps a sex worker permanently in his parents house Idi-Araba Lagos. Recently she started working and suddenly someone from the Ren Money Micro-finance Bank Lawyers started calling her again using a series of Etisalat numbers. She informed a friend who knew the proceedings of Ren Money Micro-finance Bank and who told her they were scammers. He personally called her himself one a day and was yelling go and pay your money; he dropped the call when he knew I had identified his voice. Just recently someone used one of an old account to send e-mails to her new account and she is sure it is him. 

His motives for all the stalking:

1. To get her to have sex with him at all cost as he told her that's what he does to all females and is now it is her turn

2. To get and extort money from her by any and all means

3. To stop her from having another relationship

4. To stop her from achieving and fulfilling purpose

5. To live with her and use her financially

6. Keep her as a sex slave

This man is a criminal and should be exposed and stopped; this woman has been forced to go this far by contacting me, telling her story of domestic abuse and violence and asking for it to be placed on my blog. This vile man is doing this to many other women also and will continue to do so unless more women have the same courage to speak up and share their stories. D
ue to the vast corruption in Nigeria and the culture this woman has little chance of exposing him. The above story is classic abuse. An abuser walks into their victims life and turns it upside down by isolating and grooming family, friends and work colleagues. None of this is ok. He and others must be stopped. Please read and share this lady's story. This behaviour can happen to anyone of us. Abuse has no boundaries or social standing. Ikechukwu is a psychopath presenting with sociopathic and narcisstic behaviour. He has no conscience.

Published with permission from the lady in question.