Content guidance

Contains references to sexual or domestic abuse.

Adult supervision recommended.


Lesson video

In progress...


Hello, I'm Mrs. Smith.

Welcome to lesson two for this unit of work.

In this lesson, we will focus on controlling behaviour and coercive control.

We will also look at the subtleties of an abusive relationship.

This lesson covers some content that may be a sensitive topic for you.

We recommend checking with a trusted adult before you begin or completing the lesson with a trusted adult nearby.

Let us begin.

For this lesson, you will need an exercise book or paper, and a pen to write with.

If you need to go and collect that equipment now, pause the video and do so.

Press play when you're ready to carry on.

Today's agenda looks like this.

We will start with some definitions of our keywords.

We will then discuss the subtleties of abusive relationships.

And discuss the importance of mutual respect.

We will finish with a reflection and exit quiz.

Our keywords for today's lesson are control: the power to influence or direct people's behaviour or the course of events.

Coercive: using force or threats.

And behaviour: the way in which someone conducts themselves.

Let us start with a recap from last lesson.

Can you remember what links all of these words on the screen? Assault, harassment, stalking and blackmail.

Pause the video and write down your answer on your piece of paper.

Press play when you're ready to compare our answers.

All of these are examples of criminal behaviours that might take place in a relationship.

Today's lesson, we will start with some definitions.

Controlling behaviour is a form of harmful behaviour in a relationship aimed at making someone subordinate and/or dependent.

What do you think this might look like? Pause the video now and write down some ideas on your piece of paper.

Let us now compare our examples of what we think controlling behaviour might look like.

Controlling behaviour might include any of the following.

Isolating someone from their sources of support, such as friends or family.

Exploiting their resources or capabilities, such as controlling their money.

Depriving them of their means of independence or escape.

So for example, not letting them drive a car.

And finally, regulating their everyday behaviour, such as choosing what they wear.

We are now going to have a look at some statements surrounding controlling behaviour.

I would like you to decide whether you agree with the statement or disagree.

Let's have a look at our first statement now.

Someone cares about the way they look and expects their partner to do the same.

If their partner does not look good in what they are wearing, they will suggest something better.

It's not controlling, it's just caring.

Do you agree with the statement or disagree? Pause the video to think about it and then press play when you're ready to compare.

So we disagree with this statement because it does show signs of controlling behaviour.

In fact, this person is regulating the behaviour of their partner.

Our second statement is this.

If your partner is constantly checking your location on Snap Maps and messaging you when you go somewhere that you haven't mentioned to them, that's an unhealthy form of control.

You shouldn't be virtually followed everywhere.

Do you agree with this statement or disagree? Pause the video again and take a moment to consider what type of controlling behaviour is shown here.

I agree with the statement.

You shouldn't be followed anywhere.

This shows another sign of controlling behaviour.

It is depriving this person of their need for independence.

Our next statement is this.

If someone criticises their partner's friends and family all the time, trying to suggest they shouldn't see them, I think it's a really unhealthy sign.

Do you agree with me or disagree? Pause the video to think about this statement further.

So I agree with this statement.

This shows more signs of controlling behaviour.

It is isolating someone from their support network.

And our final statement.

If someone is the bank account holder and is making sure all the wages go into the account and bills are paid for, this is really helpful.

Even if you have to ask for some money every now and again.

Do you agree with this statement or disagree with this statement? Pause the video to reflect on it.

So I disagree with this statement.

Again, we can see examples of controlling behaviour.

It is exploiting the resources of a person.

Our second key definition for this lesson is coercive control.

Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts, such as assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation, used to harm, punish or frighten someone.

Coercive and/or controlling behaviour is always wrong, and can be a criminal offence.

We shall now look at subtleties of abuse in a relationship.

What is important here is that it is not always obvious when abuse is taking place.

I would like you now to read your worksheet with the story about Joseph and Nicky.

On your worksheet, highlight anything that you would consider as a controlling behaviour.

Pause the video now and have a go at this activity.

Press play when you're ready to discuss the answers.

On the screen for you now are our examples of what controlling behaviour could look like.

Keep these in mind while we go through the answers from the activity with Nicky and Joseph.

So our first example of controlling behaviour in this story is this.

Nicky likes to surprise Joseph at home so they can walk to school together.

Pause the video and think of what example of controlling behaviour would this be.

This is an example of Nicky depriving Joseph of his independence.

The next example of controlling behaviour is this.

Nicky always like to message Joseph to check how he is and when he is leaving so that they can walk home together.

Pause the video again to consider which type of controlling behaviour this could be.

So this is an example of Nicky regulating Joseph's behaviour and depriving him of his independence.

The next answer from the example is that Nicky explains he feels quite upset that perhaps Joseph is still looking for someone else to be in a relationship with.

Joseph offers to delete some of his online friends and Nicky thanks him.

Pause the video now to decide what type of controlling behaviour this would be.

This is an example of Nicky isolating Joseph from his means of support and also depriving him of his independence.

Abuse in relationships, including criminal behaviour can be subtle and some people may justify this as love or care, as we have seen in the scenario with Nicky and Joseph.

Social media has given us all access to a lot more information than ever before.

Who follows who, who likes whose posts, details about where someone is and what they are up to.

I would like you to pause and consider this question now.

Do you think having access to all of this information has caused more unhealthy control in relationships? Pause the video now to consider this question.

For the final part of the lesson, let's discuss the importance of mutual respect in relationships.

If we take the example of Nicky and Joseph, it is really important that there is mutual respect in a relationship and that both parties show respect to each other.

So what could Joseph and Nicky do differently? Pause the video now to write down some ideas of how they could approach their relationship moving forward.

Now, it is important to note that some of Nicky's actions might be down to him being naive, especially if this is a first relationship.

We also have to take into account that both have agreed to keep the relationship secret.

Pause the video now and write down some ways that Nicky and Joseph could improve their relationship in adding more mutual respect.

I will now share with you some ideas on how Nicky and Joseph could improve the mutual respect in their relationship.

Nicky needs to take a step back and show Joseph trust and respect.

It is also important that both of them find someone outside of the relationship to confide in and share the behaviours.

Nicky may not realise that what he is doing is controlling and someone else might be able to point this out to him.

And finally, if Joseph does not feel confident enough to stand up to Nicky about how he is feeling, he needs to speak to a trusted adult.

We shall now end the lesson with a reflection.

Controlling behaviour of any kind is harmful to a relationship.

And coercive behaviours are any acts which humiliate or intimidate someone.

Abuse can be subtle and justified as love.

And finally, you must speak to a trusted person if you ever feel worried about yourself or a friend.

Thank you for joining me for this lesson today.

I have been Mrs. Smith and if you would like to share any of your work with us, please ask your parent or carer and use the hashtag #LearnwithOak.

See you again soon, goodbye.