Domestic abuse and coercive control can include incidents or a pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent behaviour, including sexual violence. This abuse is often committed by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer (Women’s Aid). Some specific examples include: 

  • Emotional or psychological 
    • Threats, humiliation, criticism and name-calling (including racial abuse) 
    • Undermining your self-confidence 
    • Controlling what you do or who you speak to 
    • Stalking 
    • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food 
    • Isolating you from your friends and family 
    • Monitoring your time, contacts, and online communications 
    • Threatening to or distributing intimate images

  • Physical (see also physical violence) 
    • Hitting, punching, kicking, burning, etc. 
    • Use (or attempted use) of a weapon against yourself or others 
    • Threats of violence against yourself or others 
    • Depriving you access to support and medical services

  • Sexual (see also sexual misconduct) 
    • Rape 
    • Forcing you to engage in sexual acts 
    • Forcing you to engage in sex work 
    • Stealthing (removing a condom without consent) 
    • Forced marriage

  • Financial  
    • Not letting you work 
    • Withholding money 
    • Monitoring or controlling your spending 

Make a disclosure 

It takes great courage to disclose experiences of domestic abuse or coercive control. Everyone who has experienced this deserves to be listened to, supported and believed. What has happened is not your fault and you are not alone. Your safety and wellbeing are the most important things right now. 

Make a disclosure to the University

Use the Report and Support system to disclose a domestic abuse incident to the University of St Andrews. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can request support from an adviser

Other ways to make a disclsoure 


University support 

If you would like additional support, there are many resources available for both students and staff. Please see the how to get support page for more information. 

External support 

If someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse 

If you know someone who has experienced or is experiencing domestic abuse, you can help in the following ways: 
  • Listen. Taking the time to listen and talk about what has happened can help.  
  • Signpost options. Ask them if they’re okay to talk through some possible options for support or how they might disclose what has happened. Do not take on the role of a counsellor or therapist. 
  • Help them make a disclosure. If they want to, and you feel able to, you can help them disclose the incident or incidents. 



There are two ways you can tell us what happened