Coercive control is a crime. It is the very heart of domestic abuse. It does not have to be physical to be abuse.

Domestic abuse and coercive control is a persistent and deliberate pattern of behaviour by an abuser over a prolonged period of time designed to achieve obedience and create fear.

It may include coercion, threats, stalking, intimidation, isolation, degradation and control. It may also include physical and/or sexual violence.

Making her world smaller

Domestic abuse and coercive control are all about making a woman’s world smaller – trapping her, restricting her independence and freedom.

A controlling partner may shut out her friends and family, control her movements, micro-manage what she eats or wears, restrict her access to money – all the time chipping away at her confidence and destroying her self-respect.

It is not her imagination.

It is not her fault. It is not acceptable.

It is a Crime

If it happened after January 1st 2019, coercive control is a criminal offence in Ireland.

For more information on the Criminal Offence of Coercive Control Click Here

Quick Reference Guide to Coercive Control

You can download our quick reference guide to coercive control here.

If you would like copies of our quick reference guide for yourself or to share in your workplace, community, neighbourhood or for a friend or family member we can post some out to you. Please email info@safeireland.ie or phone 0906 479078.

Types of abuse

The list below will help you recognise the signs of an abusive relationship. Not all methods of abuse are listed here though. Some are hard to define. But, if you are nervous, frightened or anxious around your partner, then the relationship may not be equal. If something does not feel right, then it probably isn’t. You are the best judge of your own situation, trust your instinct.

Physical abuse

  • Punching or slapping you
  • Using weapons, such as knives or hammers against you
  • Using household items as weapons, such as throwing a phone at you
  • Biting you
  • Pinching you
  • Kicking you
  • Pulling your hair
  • Pushing or shoving you
  • Burning you
  • Strangling or choking you
  • Raping you

Emotional or psychological abuse

  • Constantly putting you down and calling you names in private and/or in front of others
  • Not listening or responding when you talk
  • Restricting where you can travel to or who you can see.
  • Monitoring the petrol or diesel you have used in your car or the distance you have travelled
  • Not allowing friends or family to the house or stopping you from spending time with them
  • Telling your family and friends lies about you
  • Sulking or not speaking to you when you do something they don’t approve of
  • Lying to you or withholding information from you
  • Being jealous of your other relationships with family, friends or colleagues
  • Having other relationships
  • Breaking promises and shared agreements
  • Threatening to harm themselves
  • Stalking you
  • Monitoring your whereabouts by following you or using tracking devices on your phone
  • Monitoring your online activity or opening your post and emails
  • Making threats to hurt you, your children or others you care about including pets
  • Destroying or threatening to destroy your property, belongings or car

Sexual abuse

  • Raping you
  • Using force, threats, or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts
  • Making you feel guilty for not having sex
  • Any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation
  • Withholding contraception or controlling your access to it
  • Making you watch pornography or forcing you to participate in the making of it
  • Sharing, or threatening to share, intimate images online or with friends, family or colleagues

Financial abuse

  • Controlling all household money and asking you to account for money spent, including showing receipts
  • Denying you access to your bank account or shared bank accounts
  • Sabotaging your work or preventing you from attending work (example: hiding your car keys)
  • Withholding money for food, household or personal items
  • Not paying bills, rent or the mortgage and allowing arrears to build up
  • Not paying child maintenance as agreed or at all

Digital abuse

  • Sharing intimate and private pictures or messages online
  • Harassing you by sending insulting or threatening texts or messages
  • Making fake profiles to harrass you
  • Monitoring all of your online activity, examples include who comments or likes your posts
  • Checking your search history.
  • Using technology to track your whereabouts
  • Demanding you give them your passwords to your online accounts

Read more about the services that are available to you.