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AVA seminar on Coercive Control

Information from the AVA seminar on Coercive Control: Using the legislation, 28 January 2016

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. Compared to victims of stalking and harassment or physical abuse, those experiencing coercive control are less likely to report it to the police, instead preferring to speak to family/friends, health professionals or work colleagues. There is compelling evidence that the combination of coercion and control is one of the most devastating form of abuse as well as the most common.

On 18th December 2014 following a consultation the government announced a new domestic abuse criminal offence of coercive and controlling behaviour. The new law will protect victims by criminalising patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour that amount to extreme psychological and emotional abuse, even where this does not develop into serious physical violence. The commencement date for the offense is 29th December 2015. Guidance for professionals was launched on 5th December 2015.

Objectives of the seminar

This seminar gave delegates a chance to hear from experts on the new coercive control legislation and discuss practical issues around advocating for survivors.

  • Understand the new legal definition of coercive control
  • How to support victims of coercive control
  • What evidence needs to be collected to prove & prosecute the offence of coercive control?


  • Dr. Emma Katz, lecturer in Childhood & Youth at Liverpool Hope University, spoke on The impact of coercive control on parenting (specifically for the non-abusive parent/mother) and the impacts on children. To see the presentation, click Emma Katz Coercive Control Seminar Presentation Jan 2016.
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