Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2020

Coercive Control Scenarios A and B (Group 1)

For the purposes of the module of questions on coercive control, respondents were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each group was presented with a scenario focusing on an obvious situation of coecrive control, and one based on a less obvious situation.

    Scenario A (obvious situation of coercive control)

    Angela and John have been together for 5 years. After 6 months of being together John began to ask Angela a lot of questions about her online usage and check her social media accounts almost daily. John would get angry at Angela if she had liked the content of her friend’s account. Over time, he told her to stop seeing her friends or he would leave her. John would get so angry at Angela that he would smash her phone to the ground in front of her.

    After one-year together, John moved Angela out of the town she grew up in into an area 35 miles away so they could enjoy a bigger house and have more privacy. John did not like Angela to visit her parents. John had taken control of their finances so Angela could not buy a train ticket without asking his permission. By the time they had been together three years he would monitor her phone calls to home and cut off the line if the conversation was more than 5 minutes.

    John would not let Angela go work and when he left the house, he would lock Angela inside and take the key to work. John told Angela if she left the house he would know and that there would be consequences when he got home. He would hold his fist up whilst saying this. When Angela made dinner and John did not like it, he would smash the plate in front of her and say that she was a useless partner. John would tell Angela daily that she was fat, stupid and that no one else could ever love her but he did. He told Angela that if she ever left him, he would kill her and then himself.

    Scenario B (less obvious situation of coercive control)

    Rob and Jane have been together for one year. Rob would come to meet Jane for lunch every day at her workplace. Rob would ask Jane to try clothes on from her wardrobe and then he would tell her what to keep and what to throw out.

    Over time he would take Jane shopping and replace her casual look with more smart style dresses, eventually throwing all her clothes out. Rob made an exercise regime for Jane so she could slim down from a size 10 to a 6. He expected Jane to work out 3 times a week every week and he would check her phone apps to see if she had or not.

    Every time they go for dinner Rob would insist on ordering Jane’s food, as he says that he knows more about good food and calories than she. Rob doesn’t like it when Jane talks to other men, even in work, as it’s too upsetting for him to imagine what the guys are thinking.

    Rob generally would insist that Jane cancel plans with friends and family if he can’t be there with her. He does not like when he and Jane can’t go out together.

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