Controlling Behaviours workshop for secondary school PSHE / RSE.

posted in: Mindset | 0

As you probably know, the recent PSHE RSE guidance on healthy relationships has set out clearly that healthy relationships teaching in RSE should include information about coercive control, controlling behaviours, sexual assault and abuse and domestic abuse and violence.

These elements sit within a framework that asks schools to ensure that everyday sexism, stereotypes and other judgemental prejudices -especially around the protected characteristics of the 2010 Equalities Act – are discussed and tackled with insights and information as well as work to challenge and amend entrenched unhelpful attitudes and beliefs.

I’ve been delivering sessions on domestic abuse and violence linked to coercive control for some time but recently a school specifically asked me to respond to the RSE Guidance and to help them educate their KS3, KS4 and Sixth Form on coercive control as they had recently had some safeguarding issues with students who were experiencing controlling partners and friendships.

So here we have: Controlling Behaviours for Secondary Schools.

  • What are Coercive Control and Controlling Behaviours?
  • What is the law around CC and CB?
  • What do CC and CB look like in intimate relationships, friendship groups and families?
  • What do CC and CB do to people affected by them?
  • How CC and CB are used in virtually ALL abusive relationships…and how they are used to abuse someone.
  • What to do if you think you or a friend or family member are affected by CC or CB.
  • How to ask for help and gather evidence if you or a friend are affected by CC or CB.

The sessions are adapted to cater to the audience and will cover friendships, intimate relationships and the influence of adult content where CC and CB are being used to coerce partners into sexual acts and situations which many find uncomfortable with guilt, shame and peer-pressure.

Feedback from the NW School who requested the workshop in February 2024.

“Bernie’s presentation on Coercive control was fantastic. It was very well-delivered in a relaxed and engaging way. There was a real buzz amongst our students after the session, and they are already asking when Bernie’s coming back. This was Bernie’s second visit to our school, and we hope it won’t be his last!” S.D. Head of PSHE.

If you think I can help, let me know.   


After all, it’s not just intimate relationships where controlling behaviour happens: Regina George from Mean Girls is a controlling person…