The research is part of the It’s Not Nothing campaign to raise awareness and provide support to anyone affected.
Four-in-10 British adults (43%) say their understanding of coercive control is poor or non-existent, according to a new study commissioned by Vodafone and domestic abuse charity Hestia as part of a campaign to raise awareness and provide support to anyone affected.
The campaign, called ‘It’s Not Nothing’, has been created by Vodafone Foundation and aims to help people recognise coercive control and direct people to the Bright Sky app and website as a source of help and support. The Bright Sky app is free from the App Store or Google Play.
Coercive control is when someone you know repeatedly behaves in a way which makes you feel controlled, dependent, isolated or scared.
The results of the study suggest that, despite media coverage and portrayals of coercive behaviour in popular dramas such as Eastenders and The Archers, millions of Britons might fail to recognise the warning signs.
When asked to consider behaviours consistent with coercive control in their own relationships, past and present, 23% said they had been isolated from friends and family. 19% had had their time monitored and 24% said they had been made to feel humiliated or degraded. Overall, more than a quarter (28%) said they had been in a relationship where they considered themselves to be a victim of coercive control.
The study also found that almost one-in-four (23%) would not know how to help a friend, colleague or loved one experiencing domestic abuse.
Bright Sky is a safe and easy-to-use app and website that provides practical support and information on spotting the signs of abuse and how to respond. It uses location data to help users find the nearest support services and is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or for those concerned about family, friends or colleagues.
Bright Sky was developed by Hestia, Thames Valley Partnership and Vodafone Foundation and launched in the UK in 2018. The app is available in five languages – English, Urdu, Punjabi, Polish and Welsh – and has been downloaded 111,362 times in the UK since its launch. It is available in ten other countries where Vodafone operates as a business.