Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership


Domestic Abuse Helpline

24 hour domestic violence helpline

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is the abuse of one person by either their partner or another family member; domestic abuse can happen to anyone. The definition of domestic abuse that is used by the government is:

any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim

The law on coercive control

As of the 29th December 2015 coercive control was officially recognised as a crime with the introduction of Coercive Control Offence within the Serious Crimes Act 2015.

The new law protects people who are in an abusive relationship by recognising that coercive control and threatening behaviour can have serious effect on someone’s daily life and activities.

Some examples of coercive control are:

  • Isolating; not allowing someone to go out without their abuser, or controlling who they can see. Restricting access to communication with friends and family.
  • Restricting what someone can wear, how they style their hair or wear their makeup
  • Monitoring their movements via social media or following them
  • Extreme jealousy and possessiveness; accusations that they have been or are planning to be unfaithful.
  • Using threats of violence to control behaviour
  • Ignoring someone’s needs and feelings, minimising the harm that they are causing to them.

If you think you are being abused or know someone who is being abused go to our get help now pages to find out more information about local and national support services

It doesn't hurt to ask for help