CLYDEBANK’S domestic abuse charity and police have urged older women facing controlling behaviour from their partners to reach out for help.

Clydebank Women’s Aid (CWA) and detectives tackling abusive relationships and supporting survivors said it was likely there were women who had lived with isolation and control for “years and years”.

The leading charity, who have created an animated film on coercive control since it became a crime earlier this year, said isolation is often a tactic used by abusers to gain total control over a partner.

They told the Post: “The insidious and gradual process of isolating women from their friends, family and other loved ones is subtle, and may not be as obvious as we think.

“Isolation is a form of coercive control, which is now recognised as a form of domestic abuse and is against the law.

“The abuser may say or do things like, ‘Your family doesn’t like me’, ‘Your friends aren’t nice people’, ‘They are trying to come between us’, or engineer arguments to manipulate their partner into believing the only person they can rely on is them.

“This makes their partner feel like they are the only person who loves or cares about them, leaving them with no one to talk to.

“This isolation allows abusers to enact other forms of abuse such as withholding money, benefits or forcing their partner to leave their job; withholding health care when ill or after an assault.”

Read more: Hundreds of crimes recorded under new domestic abuse law

The charity continued: “This can lead to total powerlessness, relying completely on their abuser for even the most basic of needs such as contacting doctors, or other health care providers – this is degrading and humiliating.

“The abuser may also make threats towards them and their loved ones as part of the abuse, so they may not feel like they are able to get in contact with their loved ones for their safety.”

Detective Inspector Scott Hamilton, of Clydebank CID, said controlling behaviour often means the removal of friends and family from a partner’s life.

He said: “That controlling behaviour is not acceptable to anybody these days and we will take action.

“I think an older generation is sometimes forgotten about when talking about domestic abuse. Some will have been subjected to controlling behaviour for years and years – probably well before we knew what it was.

“Are there women out there who think that’s the norm? We have to tell them it’s not. Irrespective of your age or who you are, we will take action.”

CWA said isolation is a particular worry in older members of the community – and an abuser could take advantage of that vulnerability.

They added: “It’s important to remember that isolation is not only an issue that effects the older population, every woman who has experienced domestic abuse has, and will continue to feel, isolated.

“After fleeing, women have to repair these relationships that have been broken by their abuser, and in some cases women flee to areas where they have no connections in order to be safe.”

If this behaviour sounds familiar, call CWA for support on 0141 952 8118 or police on 101. View the coercive control animations at