Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Controlling Behaviour is Domestic Abuse

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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 the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Physical 
  • Sexual Financial and or
  • Emotional

Coercive and controlling behaviour became an offence in December 2015 and gives powers to the authorities to bring prosecutions for psychological abuse, closing the gap in the law around patterns of such behaviour.

The offence carries a maximum 5 year prison sentence and a fine.

Controlling acts may include, but not be exclusive to, manipulation, intimidation, sexual coercion and psychological abuse. The behaviour is intended to make a person become submissive, or to isolate them from sources of support, such as their friends and family. It might include monitoring their time, or communication with others, including checking someone's mobile phone or online communication.

It could also be exploiting their resources, such as their wages or access to money, depriving them of their independence and trying to regulate or control every day behaviour such as where they can go, who they can see and what to wear.

It may be stopping someone accessing specialist support services, repeatedly putting them down, humiliating or degrading them and making threats to hurt them or their children, or publish private information about them.

Something that may seem like harmless behaviour in isolation, can have devastating effects on a victim when they are subjected to repeated controlling behaviour. We would encourage people to speak to someone about any behaviour that is concerning them, all reports will be treated sensitively and taken seriously.

If you are a victim, or know someone who could be a victim you can speak to police, or other agencies that can help. You can contact police via 101, in an emergency always call 999.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing use mobile text phone 07786 200 200 or Type Talk / Text Relay 18001 101.

Advice if you are planning to leave an abusive relationship

  • Keep useful telephone numbers with you 
  • Photocopy or collect important documents, such as passports 
  • Open a savings account 
  • Make sure you know where your bank cards/savings books are 
  • Get an extra set of keys cut 
  • Organise a bag of clothes/toys/medicines for yourself and your children 
  • Do not do it alone 

Keeping safe at home

  • Contact the specialist services for help and advice.
  • Consider changing locks 
  • Install a burglar alarm and smoke alarm 
  • Install lights that illuminate when someone comes near the house 
  • Use an answering machine to screen all calls 
  • Change your mobile number Let your neighbours know so that they can look out for you 
  • Teach your children how to dial 999 and give their address 

Useful contacts

West Yorkshire Police Safeguarding Units

Bradford Safeguarding Unit - 01274 376116
Calderdale Safeguarding Unit - 01422 337362
Kirklees Safeguarding Unit - 01924 431135
Leeds Safeguarding Unit - 0113 3859590
Wakefield Safeguarding Unit - 01924 878398

National Support Agencies

DV-Assist - 0800 195 8699
National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247
Karma Nirvana (Forced marriage / Honour based abuse helpline) - 0800 5999 247
Men's Advice Line - 0800 801 0327
GALOP (National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline) - 0800 999 5428
Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111 Childline - 0800 1111
Paladin (Stalking Advocacy Service) - 020 3866 4107
National Stalking Helpline - 0808 802 0300
Victim Support - 0845 456 5995
West Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) - 0330 223 3617
Men Reaching Out (Male Domestic Abuse Service) - 01274 731020

Bradford Support Agencies

Staying Put - 0808 2800999
Domestic Violence Services Keighley - 01535 210999
Bradford Women's Aid - 01274 666241
Bradford Rape Crisis - 01274 308270

Calderdale Support Agencies

Calderdale Staying Safe - 01422 323339 Out of Hours - 07590 884206
Women's Centre Calderdale - 01422 386500

Kirklees Support

Agencies Pennine Domestic Violence Group - 0800 052 7222
Kirklees Asian and Black Women's Welfare Association (KABWA) - 01484 304338
Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing - 01484 414886
Wish Project (Women into Single Housing) - 01484 512739
Women's Centre Huddersfield - 01484 450866
Women's Centre Dewsbury - 07590 445846
Kirklees Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (KRASACC) - 01484 450040

Leeds Support Agencies

Leeds Domestic Violence and Abuse Services - 0113 246 0401 or Text phone - 07825 156 087
Support After Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) - 0808 802 3344

Wakefield Support Agencies

Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Service - 0800 915 1561
Women's Centre Wakefield - 01924 211114


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