Coercive control

A pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse used by one person over another to harm, punish or frighten and ultimately takes away a persons freedom. 

A coercive or controlling behaviour offence came into force in December 2015. It carries a maximum 5 years imprisonment, a fine or both. Victims who experience coercive and controlling behaviour that stops short of serious physical violence, but amounts to extreme psychological and emotional abuse, can bring their perpetrators to justice.

Coercive behaviour 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

The UK Government website outlines


“The offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour that occurs during a relationship between intimate partners, former partners who still live together or family members.”

“This offence sends a clear message that this form of domestic abuse can constitute a serious offence particularly in light of the violation of trust it represents and will provide better protection to victims experiencing repeated or continuous abuse.”

“It sets out the importance of recognising the harm caused by coercion or control, the cumulative impact on the victim and that a repeated pattern of abuse can be more injurious and harmful than a single incident of violence.”

Spotting the signs

If you are effected by coercive control it may be extremely difficult to spot the signs. If you can identify with any of the following it may be a sign that you are effected by coercive control.

  • Are you isolated from family and friends?
  • Are you told what to where?
  • Are you restricted on where you can go by your partner?
  • Is your social media, texts and phone calls monitored?


We can help

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions you may benefit from speaking to one of our team who are experienced in working with women effected by coercive control. We can offer you practical help and support to take back your freedom.

We understand that if you are being closely monitored by another person that you may find it difficult to get in touch with our team you may also need to cover your tracks online. Also did you know you can arrange an appointment to see us by telling your GP what is happening?