From 29 December 2015, coercion and control in a relationship is a criminal offence, carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Coercive control describes a range or pattern of behaviours that enable a perpetrator to maintain or regain control of a partner, ex-partner or family member.
Examples of coercive control might include:
- isolating you from your friends and family
- controlling how much money you have and how you spend it
- monitoring your activities and your movements
- repeatedly putting you down, calling you names or telling you that you are worthless
- threatening to harm or kill you or your child
- threatening to publish information about you or to report you to the police or the authorities
- damaging your property or household goods
- forcing you to take part in criminal activity or child abuse
Some of the behaviours in this list can be other offences as well as coercive control, so your abuser can be arrested for more than one offence for the same behaviour. For example, if your abuser broke your phone as part of the coercive control then they could be arrested and charged for coercive control and also the offence of criminal damage.
Your abuser will be guilty of the offence of coercive control if
- they are personally connected to you, and
- their behaviour has had a serious effect on you, and
- your abuser knew or ought to have known that their behaviour would have a serious effect on you.
For further information see website.
In an emergency always dial 999. For Humberside Police in other circumstances call 101.
Support from our local domestic abuse service The Blue Door is available - 0800 197 4787
Rights of Women website (opens new window)
SafeLives website (opens new window)