Coercion is a word used to describe the act of persuading or forcing someone to do something by using threats or violence. People can be coerced into acting in a certain way or doing things they wouldn’t usually do. This could include handing over money, personal belongings or bank details, being involved in criminal activity or unwanted sexual activity.

Coercion can be used by partners and people who act as friends. Groups can also befriend people to manipulate and exploit them using coercion and may do this through internet groups, chat rooms or gaming sites for example. This is often particularly prevalent on the internet, where relationships can be developed quickly. Threats, intimidation, physical and emotional abuse, violence and blackmail are all ways that people can coerce others to undertake things they don’t want to do.

Coercion is a cruel tactic used to take advantage of people. Victims can be left humiliated and suffer mental health issues, financial problems and become involved in the criminal justice system.