It can be difficult to understand what it is unless you’ve experienced or witnessed it. 

Here are some helpful definitions:

Controlling Behaviour 

Controlling behaviour is an intentional pattern of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent on the individual exerting control 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, frighten, isolate or create dependence. Acts of coercion or force are used to persuade the victim to do something that they are unwilling to do. 
Controlling and/or coercive behaviour may include, for example: 
  • Separating individuals/teams from the group or team activities within a department/faculty or other activities
  • Denying individuals access to meetings or other group activities with others without reason or justification
  • Seeking to invade your privacy or constantly checking in with an individual by unjustifiably or unreasonably monitoring daily activities or behaviours, such as monitoring emails and communications, making them account for their time or dictating who they meet, talk to or interact with
  • Discouraging access to or refusing permission to access training, seminars, conferences or other career development or educational opportunities
  • Intimidation and threats of disclosure of health status or an impairment to family, friends, work colleagues and wider community – particularly where this may carry a stigma in the community
  • Making direct or implied threats, such as threatening to revoke authorship and credit on publications and research papers or group projects and initiatives
  • Humiliating an individual by criticising them in a public forum, such as by group email/messaging service or in a group meeting
  • Insisting on having things done their way, even small issues that are a matter of personal choice, refusing to accept blame or admit to a mistake or continuously refusing to consider your ideas or suggestions
  • Asking or persuading you to change things about who you are, your beliefs, and values
  • Other behaviours that intend to undermine individuals such as repeated put downs, and humiliating, degrading or dehumanising comments

There are two ways you can tell us what happened