Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. Coercive control is not physical, although it may go alongside physical abuse; it is one person establishing control over another and instilling fear of what will or may happen if they do not do as the perpetrator expects. Coercive control is a criminal offence and a perpetrator can be prosecuted by law.
Coercive control is sometimes referred to as psychological abuse.
If someone is controlling or trying to control aspects of your life using threats, intimidation, humiliation, assault or other types of abuse to harm, scare or punish you then this classifies as coercive control.
If you think you are experiencing coercive control, the first step is to seek support. If you are in danger of immediate harm, call the Police in the first instance, otherwise contact your local domestic abuse support service who will advise you on how to pursue a legal case against a perpetrator.
Some common examples of coercive behaviour are: