Coercive Control - where is the line?

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s PCSP and Community Arts Teams working with Women’s Aid and The Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership have recently commissioned a short animation explaining coercive control and how to recognise it.

The animation was created by local animator Bob Price who runs Neep Pictures out of Boom! Studios in Bangor and is aimed at young people aged 14+ and highlights the key aspects of coercive controlling behaviour in a relationship.

In January this year, the Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Bill passed its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly. This bill recognises 'coercive control' as a criminal offence and will bring Northern Ireland in line with legislation in England, Scotland and Wales.

Coercive control is at the core of all ongoing abuse, but it can be hard to spot. It is hoped that this animation will be shared far and wide to raise awareness about coercive control and to help potential victims spot the warning signs early.

Speaking about the animation, The Mayor of Ards and North Down Councillor Trevor Cummings said: "Now that coercive control is to become an offence in Northern Ireland, public awareness and education is key to helping people spot the signs. This video explains coercive control very clearly and will be used as an important educational tool, especially for young people. I'd like to commend our PCSP and Community Arts Teams for their work on this  project."

Welcoming the launch, Chair of Ards and North Down PCSP, Councillor Nick Mathison encourage anyone affected by domestic abuse to seek help and support.  “There are a range of services available to those suffering from domestic abuse and I would urge victims to make use of the help available”.

The animation was commissioned by Ards and North Down PCSP and the development of it was supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council, NDA Women’s Aid and South Eastern Sexual and Domestic Violence Partnership.

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