Safeguarding – Coercive control

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What is Coercive Control?

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of threats, humiliation, assaults, intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten a victim.

This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent on the abuser by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of their independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive control is a criminal offence. It creates invisible chains and a sense of fear that pervades all elements of a victim’s life. This limits their human rights by depriving people of their liberty and reducing their ability to take action.

How do you know if this is happening to you?

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 your 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

If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of domestic abuse, you can contact us for help by calling 01302 862862 or emailing us at

You can also contact the Doncaster Domestic Abuse Hub for advice and support by calling them on 01302 737080 or emailing