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Coercive Control

Coercive Control

“The offence of Coercive Control came into effect on the 1st of January 2019, and we want to encourage victims to report it to us.”, said Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau.

Coercive control occurs when a current or ex-partner knowingly and persistently engages in behaviour that is controlling or intimidating and is having a serious effect on a person. The victim may fear that violence will be used against them, or they may be suffering serious alarm or distress that has a substantial impact on their day-to-day activities.

The victim of coercive control may have their freedom of movement reduced. Every aspect of their life may be controlled by their current or ex-partner, including access to their personal finances and the freedom to see family and friends. 

Coercive control is the collection of small, seemingly minor incidents or details that in isolation are not a criminal offence, but when viewed together display a web of abuse that is insidiously and forcibly eroding at a person’s quality of life.

An Garda Síochána can provide support and information to victims of coercive control. If a victim wishes to make a formal complaint, we can investigate. To assist us in investigating coercive control and preparing a strong case, we will need to gather evidence such as a diary the victim has been keeping, text messages and emails that highlight the abuse, and accounts from family and friends.

For more information, visit the Garda National Protective Services Bureau webpage.