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Coercive control became a criminal offence in 2015 and involves an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse by a perpetrator that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim. Both men and women can be victims of coercive control.
Although many people associate domestic abuse with physical violence, coercive control recognises the damaging impact of other forms of abuse in relationships as well. Some examples of this type of abuse include:
Victims First supports victims of crime and abuse across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. They have launched a campaign, called ‘Know this isn’t Love’, which focuses on various aspects of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour. It is told by both men and women as well as from same sex relationships. It focuses on early warning signs of controlling behaviour and emotional abuse to help victims identify any potential signs within their own relationships and seek support. You can use their website to find local support and help, by using the service directory.
Victims First recently surveyed victims of coercive control and some key findings include:
Rights for Women have outlined the legislation relevant to cohesive control; and whilst taken from a website aimed at women the legislation is equally relevant to men.
National Citizens Advice can help: look online, phone or drop into your local Citizens Advice office.