Written by Phie Bannister.

Coercive control is a type of domestic abuse, which can be subtle and doesn’t necessarily leave a physical mark. It is a behaviour or pattern of behaviours that are intended to frighten, harm, punish, humiliate, and ultimately control somebody. Coercive control can happen in both intimate and family relationships.

Poster advertising coercive control workshops in East Sussex

According to the charity Women’s Aid, common coercive control behaviours include:

  • Isolating someone from their friends and family
  • Depriving them of basic needs like food or water
  • Monitoring their time
  • Monitoring them with online communication tools or spyware
  • Taking control over their everyday life, such as where they can go, who they see, what they wear and when they sleep
  • Depriving access to support services, like medical care
  • Repeatedly putting someone down
  • Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising somebody
  • Controlling finances
  • Making threats or intimidating someone

Coercive control is now a criminal offence, and leaves people feeling completely trapped and isolated. But there is support available.

Get help via a free workshop

Join a free workshop to share your experience, and learn how to identify coercive control and how it affects you and your children. Understand the law, learn how to keep safe and access useful information and resources.

If you or anyone you know is affected by coercive control, these workshops can help.

  • Wednesday 24 May, 6-9pm at The Isabel Blackman Centre in Hastings
  • Thursday 8 June, 6-9pm online

To book a place, email hastingswomensvoice@yahoo.com

If you need help now, call the free National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency, always call 999.

Local support services that can help:

Change Grow Live  Domestic Abuse Service

Call 0300 323 9985 or email ESDomesticAbuse.Info@cgl.org.uk

East Sussex Refuge Service  

Contact them if you need to flee your home due to domestic abuse. Email referrals.eastsussex@clarionhg.com or call 07517 549 499


Contact Veritas if you have experienced stalking and harassment. They are the stalking advocacy service working across Sussex.

Survivors’ Network

Contact them if you have experienced sexual abuse or violence. They are the specialist rape and sexual violence service working across Sussex.