Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used by the abuser to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
Abuse is an incredibly difficult and sensitive subject for anyone to deal with, regardless of the nature of the abuse or who the perpetrator is. If you're worried about a loved one, spotting the signs is really important so that you can help them find the right support.
Keep in mind that people with care and support needs, such as older people or people with disabilities, are more likely to be abused or neglected. Often, they may be seen as an easy target and may also be less likely to identify abuse themselves or to report it. Often, there is a history of abuse or violence in an abuser's background. For instance, many abusers have often been victims themselves. But, regardless of the reasons, this does not excuse the behaviour. No one has the right to make another person feel frightened or worthless.
Abuse can surface slowly; it may not be immediately obvious. One of the main characteristics of an abusive relationship, though, is control - which can be achieved by force or manipulation. If you suspect that a relationship has become overly controlling, you start to see signs of coercive behaviour, or you notice that your loved one's behaviour has changed, be there for them and help them find the right support.