One in five young people aged 18-24 in Ireland have never heard of the term ‘coercive control’.
At the same time one in six young women in Ireland have been subjected to coercive control by a current partner or ex.
Coercive control has been a crime in Ireland since January 2019, which is why it’s important to note the red flags that signal intimate relationship abuse.
Women’s Aid has today launched their #TooIntoYou campaign to raise awareness of relationship abuse and teach young people, in particular young women, about the red flags on an unhealthy relationship.
Stalking, having your social media monitored, emotional abuse, financial abuse, being sexually coerced and threatened with physical violence are just some examples of intimate relationship abuse.
“Coercive control completely traps you in an abusive relationship and can have a serious impact on young women as they begin to make their way in the world. It can be incredibly damaging to young women’s emotional and physical well-being, and can result in them giving up work or education and becoming completely isolated from friends and family,” says Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid.
Women’s Aid have just launched a dedicated website for young people toointoyou.ie to provide information and support around being in an abusive relationship.
Ms Benson continues: “Coercive control can feel like invisible chains and a fear that creeps into all elements of your life. It deprives you of your freedom and independence, and reduces your ability to move freely in your life and make decisions for yourself. One example of this is stalking, where someone monitors their partner or ex to intimidate them.
“Over half (55%) of young women abused in Ireland have experienced stalking and/or harassment. For many young women this stalking can take place online with 46% of young women abused having their online platforms monitored. With this type of coercive control moving online, it can feel like there is no escape from it.
“That’s why the Criminal Justice Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 is so important, because it includes clearer and stronger provisions relating all forms of modern communications in the existing offence of Harassment and the new proposed offence of Stalking.”
Mary Hayes, who leads the Too Into You project at Women’s Aid, highlights: “At our dedicated website toointoyou.ie young people can learn the red flags of abuse, take our healthy relationship quiz, and learn how to help a friend they are worried about. Anyone needing support or information can chat to the Women’s Aid Helpline Team on the free and confidential instant messaging support service at toointoyou.ie, or call the Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900.”