Published: Friday, 22nd February 2019
Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. That’s the message behind our new campaign to highlight coercive control.
Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. That’s the message behind our new campaign with the Greenwich Domestic Violence and Abuse Service (GDVA) to highlight coercive control; an often unrecognised aspect of domestic abuse.
Coercive control is the hidden side of domestic abuse that often goes unrecognised. An abuser may not be physically violent, but use threats of violence, intimidation and manipulation to make a person feel controlled, fearful, exploited and isolated from support. Coercive control is designed to deprive a person of their independence and regulate their everyday behaviour, for example isolating somebody from friends and family, monitoring their social media, controlling their money, what they wear, eat and where they go, damaging their property, humiliating them in public, using the children against them, undermining them and blaming them for their own abusive behaviour. Our coercive control campaign aims to highlight this abuse, which is a criminal offence, and encourage victims to come forward for help and support.
Coercive control was made a criminal offence in 2015, carrying a maximum 5-year prison sentence, a fine or both.
Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement said: “The main image of the campaign is a hand holding the strings of a puppet and this is essentially what coercive control is. Victims say enduring it is as horrendous as physical violence. We want to highlight how invasive this is, that it is a crime and there is help and support available.”
Help and support is available
For more information or to seek help and support call the GDVA helpline on 020 8317 8273. In an emergency always call 999.