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What is Coercive Control?

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Coercive Control is a form of abuse, as set out in Section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Controlling behaviour is defined as a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependant by isolating them from their sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim. This includes violence that is often described as ‘honour’-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

Coercive and Controlling Behaviour is a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015, s76. A person commits an offence if they repeatedly or continuously engage in coercive/controlling behaviour (as set out above) towards a person to whom they are personally connected. The behaviour must have a serious effect on the victim and the perpetrator knew or ought to have known that their behaviour would have a serious effect.

A perpetrator’s behaviour is deemed to have a serious effect where they cause the victim to fear, more than once, that violence will be used against them, or it causes the victim serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on their usual day-to-day activities.

If you think that you have been subjected to Coercive Control or any form of Domestic Abuse you can seek help and advice from the following organisations:

You can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on: 0808 2000 247 or via their website. Please ensure that you call 999 if you are in an emergency.

Johnson Astills have a skilled and dedicated Domestic Violence and Abuse Department that are able to assist with all types of legal advice in relation to domestic abuse, including Coercive Control.

If you have been contacted by the police in relation to a Domestic Abuse offence, such as Coercive and Controlling Behaviour, Johnson Astills also have an experienced Crime Team, who may be able to provide you with advice and assistance.

If you wish to obtain legal advice in relation to any of the above, please give us a call at your local branch in Leicester or Loughborough or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.