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Coercive, manipulative and controlling behaviour can be insidious in a relationship and often goes unreported. At the turn of this year, a 51 year old woman was shot dead outside her house in Newport, Shropshire, by a man she knew. This type of headline is, sadly, all too common and is often the culmination of a controlling and abusive relationship.

However not all abuse is physical or sexual, there is a far more toxic side to such behaviour in that it is a form of brainwashing that means the 'victim' begins to doubt themselves so much that they think they are losing it or they are to blame. This is now recognised as coercive control and at the end of 2015 a new law came out to protect the (mainly) women who experience it (though of course, men can be victims too).

It will be worth informing yourself of this type of abuse, so that you can recognise when it is happening to you or someone you know.

Read my article on coercive control on Psychologies Magazine LifeLabs channel, for more information.