Coercive and Controlling Behaviour

Does your partner make you feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’? Do you feel isolated? Do you feel intimidated? Have you lost your confidence and self-esteem? If so, then you may be a victim of coercive and controlling domestic abuse.

Has your partner…

● Made you become isolated from your family and friends?
● Told you what your daily routine should be and punished or threatened you if you don’t do it?
● Begun tracking your every move? Do they constantly call you and text several or many times a day wanting to know where you are, what you are doing and who you are with? Do they track you on your phone or monitor you on social media?
● Repeatedly put you down? Told you that you are worthless and humiliated you in front of others?
● Stopped you working? Or are they controlling what you do at work e.g. by dropping you off and picking you up at set times?
● Limited how much money you have or used all of your money?
● Threatened you so you do as they want? Are you punished if you get things ‘wrong’?

This is domestic abuse. It is called coercive and controlling behaviour and it is used to dominate and control you.

Research has found that coercive and controlling behaviour happens in the majority of domestic abuse relationships. In many cases it is not the only type of abuse used.

Coercive and controlling behaviour is illegal and an offence under Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015. The police can charge your abuser if it causes you:

● To fear that violence will be used against you on at least two occasions (the police need evidence it is repeated abuse to charge the offender for this crime) and / or;
● Serious alarm or distress which has a substantial effect on your usual day-to-day activities.

Coercive control can also impact your children. They may feel like they are treading on eggshells too. For example you may find that your children:-

● Become isolated: they don’t see extended family, they can’t have friends over and their world is made smaller;
● May be encouraged to side with the perpetrator. Sometimes they can be used as ‘weapons’ by the perpetrator and act abusively towards you;
● Become submissive/compliant and stick to the rules;
● Try and defend or protect you.

If you are concerned about your ex/partner’s behaviour telephone the Sheffield Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 808 2241 or chat online at between the hours of 4pm and 6pm.