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Introducing… ‘Know this isn’t Love’

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

(Source: Thames Valley Police Alert)

Victims First, which supports victims of crime and abuse across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of coercive control and emotional abuse in relationships.

The campaign is called ‘Know this isn’t Love’ and focuses on early warning signs of controlling behaviour and emotional abuse to help victims identify any potential signs within their own relationships and seek support.

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Coercive control and emotional abuse

Coercive control became a criminal offence in 2015 and involves an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse by a perpetrator that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

Although many people associate domestic abuse with physical violence, coercive control recognises the damaging impact of other forms of abuse in relationships as well. Some examples of this type of abuse include:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
  • Monitoring your time and activities
  • Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
  • Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying “you’re worthless”
  • Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
  • Controlling your finances
  • Making threats or using intimidation

The campaign focuses on various aspects of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour and is told through both male and female examples and also includes examples from same sex relationships.

Victims First recently surveyed victims of coercive control and some key findings include:

  • A third of people who responded to the survey have been in more than one abusive relationship
  • Half of the abusive relationships began when the victim was under the age of 25
  • 45% of people who responded to the survey were in the abusive relationship for more than 10 years

How to seek Help

If you have been affected by coercive control or domestic abuse you can access support through Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or online at www.victims-first.org.uk.

Victims First is managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley and provides support to anyone impacted by any type of crime or abusive.

More information on the campaign and the results of the recent survey can be found by visiting the PCC’s website.

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