CONTROLLING AND COERCIVE BEHAVIOUR LAWYER
When a person uses force or intimidation to prevent a person from doing something which is not forbidden by law, or to force them to do something they do not wish to do, this is known as controlling or coercive behaviour and it is a criminal offence.
When a man displays such behaviour towards a woman who is or was his romantic partner, then the criminal offence takes place within gender-based violence, and has a more severe punishment than if a woman were to coerce or control a man.
However, the difference lies only in the sentencing, as in both cases this type of behaviour is a crime, and whoever is a victim of such must report it.
WHAT TO DO IF…
In most cases, when it’s your partner who is displaying controlling or coercive behaviour, it happens behind closed doors, so it can be very difficult to prove in legal proceedings.
It is very useful to record said behaviour when it takes place, as it is admissible as evidence even if the other person does not know or consent to being recorded.
Nowadays, there are many technical means available to record a conversation, and all are admissible as proof. Recording an exchange with your phone, for example, will help the judge determine that the type of control and coercion you are reporting is, in fact, true.
EXAMPLES OF CASES OF CONTROLLING AND COERCIVE BEHAVIOUR
My partner and I were arguing at home and he got extremely violent. To avoid further problems, I decided to leave the house but he stood in my way and said he was not letting me leave. There was a bit of a struggle, but in the end I was not able to go out.
I left to spend two days with my parents in the countryside, and when I came back my wife had changed the locks on the door and I can’t get in.