Atomik Research were commissioned to conduct an online survey by IBB Solicitors looking at the number of people in the UK who have experienced coercive or controlling relationships. Specifically the the types of behavior experienced, how people have dealt with it and how those experiences differ between gender, age and regions. The research was used by IBB to create an “in-depth report written around making current legislation and proposed revisions in the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill work more effectively.”

Atomik Research surveyed 2,003 UK Adults; 1,000 men and 1,000 women aged 18-65.

Key findings from the online research included:

  • 34% of respondents said they had ever experienced coercive control within a relationship
    • 34% of men said they had experienced coercive control within a relationship
  • 53% of respondents have reported having experienced some kind of bullying or controlling behaviour at the hands of their partner.
    • 30% had been in a relationship where their partner had restricted their daily activities or controlled which friends or family they could meet.
    • 28% of survey respondents said they had been regularly bullied or belittled about their body size
    • 17% said they had even been denied food by their partner or had their food limited.
  • 40% said they had done nothing about it;
    • A third of these felt their partner would only deny it and wanted to keep the peace
    • A third didn’t want to create an argument and the remainder said they were scared of their partner’s reaction
  • 48% were aware of the change to legislation
  • 32% say they were completely unaware of the legislation change
  • Men were just as likely to experience most of the issues we asked about as women with a few exceptions where in all cases, men were more likely to experience the issue than women.
    • Monitored or controlled spending, 29% of men vs. 22% of women
    • Suspected partner of spying on you / your activity, 30% of men vs. 23% of women
    • Partner deprived you of or limited your food, 24% of men vs. 11% of women [This one prob because women are more likely to do the food shopping / cooking]
    • Partner intentionally destroyed possessions or deleted important emails or texts, 27% of men vs. 20% of women
  • Amongst those who said they had experienced bullying or abusive behaviour, 48% said they did nothing about it, significantly higher than the figure for women (33%)
  • Men are more likely to say they would be worried about their partner going to prison (22%) while women are more likely to be concerned about how they would be protected (28%)
  • Coercive control relationships are most common amongst those aged 18-44
    • 70% of 25-34s reported ever being in such a relationship
    • 50% of 35-44s
    • 13% of 65+ saying they had ever been in this kind of relationship
  • London residents were significantly more likely to report being in a coercive control relationship (62%) than the rest of the country compared with a national average of 34%.
  • Londoners were also by far the most prepared to report this kind of behaviour with 49% saying they would report it immediately compared with an overall average of just 28%.

The research was picked up by national and regional, print and online press, including the Daily Telegraph, in print and online, Yahoo Style, Yahoo News, and the Consumer Watch Foundation.

Online Research: The Samaritans - Male Mental Health