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Do you know the signs of coercive control?

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner launched a campaign this week called Know This Isn’t Love, which aims to raise awareness of the signs of coercive, controlling and abusive behaviours in relationships so that people who are experiencing it can identify it and potentially seek help.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. 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. This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour. Some common examples 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • making threats or intimidating you

If you or someone you know is experiencing coercive control or relationship abuse, support is available from the below organisations.

Victims First

0300 1234 148

Wycombe Women’s Aid

01494 461367

National Domestic Violence Hotline

0808 2000 247