Coercive Control

Most people assume domestic violence is always physical but it’s not.

Imagine always being told that your dress is inappropriate, or that you can’t see your friends unless your partner is with you. Imagine someone close to you taking control of your bank account, your mobile phone, the food you eat and the exercise you take. These are all patterns of controlling behaviours that can form part of a pattern that builds up to coercive control – where your sense of self is slowly stripped away.

As we approach the first anniversary of the legislation that criminalised coercive control, we want to raise awareness and understanding that, even if he hasn’t raised his fists, it’s still a crime.

To do this, we’ve used displacement effect, a visual technique that reveals two different headlines depending on your perspective, for the first time in UK advertising. We want to highlight the fact that although coercive control might be more difficult to see than physical violence it can be just as damaging.

8 Outdoor, a charity partner of Women’s Aid have donated free media space to highlight this issue. It has been timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the introduction of the coercive control legislation and the Christmas period, a time when studies show an increase in incidences of domestic violence.


The campaign will be running on 8 Outdoor’s network of screens, across four cities (London, Birmingham, Leeds & Edinburgh) in the UK from 19th December, delivering nearly 7 million impacts over the two weeks it is live. All digital out-of-home screens are roadside sites with long dwell time and viewability, so offer the perfect platform for both of the creative messages to be seen by road users as they approach.

Anyone affected by the campaign and the issue of coercive control can go to for information and support.