Relationship Abuse (also known as Domestic Abuse) is when a person engages in a behaviors that are abusive to their partner or ex-partner. Relationship abuse is common and  1 in 5 women will be a victim/survivor and there is also a higher rate of victim/survivors in the LGBTQ+ community.

Coercive Control is often used as a term to describe what is happening in an abusive relationship. It is a crime and described as when a person "engages in a course of behaviour which is abusive of their partner or ex-partner and is intended to cause them physical or psychological harm or is seen as causing harm by a reasonable person"

It is important to recognise that abusive behaviours in a relationship takes many forms and that psychological or emotional harm is as damaging as physical violence. Some examples of abusive behaviors are:

Physical harm: Slapping, hitting, kicking, punching, strangulating
Sexual harm: Sexual acts that are unwanted or non consensual
Emotional harm: bullying, putting you down, belittling, demeaning, blaming,
Controlling behaviors; such as deciding what you can wear, where you go, checking your phone
Isolating behaviors; such as deciding who you can talk to, preventing you from seeing family and friends
Financial control
Intimidation and Threats

Most often an abusive relationship contain a host of abusive behaviours which are used in order to exercise power and control over you, making you feel dependent and possibly fearful of your partner.

This is what coercive control might feel like


There are two ways you can tell us what happened