Teens are confused over Coercive Control.

posted in: Mindset | 0

A recent study conducted by Ulster University, Queens University Belfast and the Northern Health Trust* in Northern Ireland has just found that fewer that 1 in 6 teenagers involved in the survey – of more than 2,000 16 year olds – had heard of Coercive Control and knew what it meant.

It’s now against the law to coercively control someone in the England, Wales (since 2015) and Northern Ireland (since 2022) yet the knowledge amongst young people is yet to catch up. The survey also found that around 16% had both heard of it and know what the concept meant

Interestingly, many of the young people in the survey could identify unhealthy relationships traits from scenarios they were presented with, however didn’t necessarily realise what the behaviour was called nor that it was against the law

The inclusion of more relationship information including coercive control into the RSE / PSHE curriculums** in the UK has been welcomed but it also creates a number of difficulties for schools – not least lack of specialist knowledge and the complexity of the subject

Allied to this, the increased exposure to unhealthy masculinities and relationships issues brought about by social media radicalisers like A. Tate means that teenage boys and young men (in particular) are essentially being groomed to have unhealthy relationships through the Aspirational Misogyny he promotes through his self-confessed ‘business model’ / digital pimping which includes emotional abuse and sexual assault.

As Cinzia DuBois – The Lady of The Library says: “…we need to write a new pro social script for men in order to prevent men like Tate from reviving ancient sexist ideas”.

For the past 9 years we have been delivering relationship PSHE and RSE sessions in schools around domestic abuse and coercive control with ‘Coercive Control: Sarah’s Legacy’ and this has been recently complemented with the latest programme ‘What makes A Man?’ which is a workshop for young people and PSHE for teachers.

Get in touch if we can help your school.



*The research findings can be found in this BBC report:  


**PSHE / RSE guidance on relationships including Coercive Control: