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Coercive Control

Coercive Control

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.

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Questions & Answers

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:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
  • Monitoring your time
  • Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
  • Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
  • Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
  • Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless
  • Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
  • Controlling your finances
  • Making threats or intimidating you

(Reference: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/coercive-control/)

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