Public Understanding of Coercive Control in Northern Ireland

Coercive control has been cited as among one of the worst types of abuse to experience within an intimate relationship.

Project  Lead

Dr Susan Lagdon

Lecturer in Psychology (Mental Health)

School of Psychology


Problem

Coercive control (also referred to as emotional or psychological abuse; indirect abuse; or emotional torture) has been cited as among one of the worst types of abuse to experience within an intimate relationship, maintaining an abusive relationship and is the most difficult type of abuse to evidence and report among victims.

Solution

This study will use utilise the NI Life and Times Survey and Young Life and Times survey to gather baseline and measurable data on public understanding (or lack thereof) of coercive control/ psychological abuse across NI prior to new laws being implemented.

Impact

Currently, new laws are proposed to be implemented in NI which will make coercive and controlling behaviours an offence. It is important that we achieve a clear understanding of what this is, who it affects and how we report and respond to coercive control across multiple sectors in NI. Better insight into public understanding will allow for targeted awareness and support for victims, their children, and families.

Collaborators

  • Dr Ciaran Shannon, Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Dr Julie-Ann Jordan, Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Prof. Mark Tully, Institute of Mental Health Sciences, Ulster University
  • Dr Gillian Shorter, Institute of Mental Health Sciences, Ulster University
  • Prof. Cherie Armour, Queen’s University Belfast