Family Relationships Society

A third of men in the UK are victims of coercive control

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

We look into the surprising and worrying stats behind male victims of coercive control.

According to the Chesire Police official website, controlling behaviour is a range of acts the abuser performs. An abuser wants to make their victim subordinate and/or dependent. These acts include:

  • Isolating the victim from sources of support
  • Exploiting the victim’s resources and capacities for personal gain
  • Depriving the victim of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape
  • Regulating the victim’s everyday behaviour

A recent press release published by Sam Pepper, reveals research conducted by independent research agency Atomikt. The research shows that more than a third of men in the UK (34 per cent) have admitted to being a victim in a coercive control relationship.

What the study shows

The alarming research shows that over half of respondents reported having experienced some kind of bullying or controlling behaviour at the hands of their partner. Those results correlate with the exact same percentage of female respondents who experience being in a coercive/controlling relationship.

The study who has been conducted amongst 2,000 UK adults, reveals that coercive control relationships are most common amongst those aged 18-44. 70 per cent of those aged 25-34 reported being in such a relationship.

Amongst those who said they had experienced bullying or abusive behaviour, nearly half of men said they did nothing about it. This is significantly higher than the figure for women.

Why people do not report the abuse

Many fail to report their situation. Only 25 per cent of UK population are aware of UK’s law regarding coercive controlling behaviour. As off 2015, coercive controlling behaviour is a criminal offence. This criminal act carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine.

The main reasons for not reporting this behaviour to authorities is because they are worried about how they would be protected. Often, they worry that if their partner ended up in prison it would impact on their lifestyle and family’s reputation. Moreover, they are worried about splitting up the family and their partner will continue with their controlling behaviour.

However, the reasons for not reporting abusive behaviour vary significantly between the genders. Men are more likely to say they would be worried about their partner going to prison. However, women are more likely to be concerned about how they would be protected (28 per cent).

If you are victim or know a victim of domestic abuse and need advice, call the national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247. Or visit Men’s Advice Line website for men experiencing domestic abuse.