COERCIVE control is the focus of this year’s 16 days of action in which organisations around the country like Gloucestershire’s police, county council and PCC raise awareness of a specific issue.

The annual campaign started today and begins with a “reclaim the night” march in Gloucester.

Coercive control is a new offence introduced in the Serious Crime Act 2015 and prosecutes those who control the behaviour of someone they are in a relationship with through intimidation and violence.

Detective superintendant Simon Atkinson, said: "The new law gives us a chance to address this insidious crime, which often involves a pattern of assaults, threats, humiliation or other abuse.

"The net effect is that the victim becomes isolated from any support and deprived of their independence.

"In Gloucestershire we have already had a case go through the courts resulting in a three-year prison sentence - the longest in the country so far, but there is still a way to go.”

This was the case of Lee Coleman, who was jailed in July for the coercive control of his partner, Amanda Scrivens, he was the first in the South West to be convicted under the new law which was introduced in December 2015.

Social media will be used on each day of the campaign to raise public awareness, with Cheltenham ‘turning purple’ to mark the end of the campaign on Saturday, December 10.

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long-term care at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Domestic abuse in any form should not be tolerated.

“No-one should suffer in silence.

"Whether the abuse is physical or emotional, advice and support is just a phone call away."

If you or someone you known is experiencing coercive control then contact Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) on 0845 602 9035.

Information about coercive control and different forms of abuse can be found at In an emergency, call the police on 999.