Survey – The University of Bristol & Women’s Aid – Chemical Restraints and Domestic Abuse Survey

About the research

Information about the research: Please Read

The University of Bristol, with Women’s Aid, have been commissioned by the Oak Foundation to carry out research into coercive control, including the use of medicines or drugs as part of coercively controlling domestic abuse.  We are an experienced research team that includes leading academics and the national umbrella organisation for victims-survivors of domestic abuse (Women’s Aid).  The research is led by Professor Marianne Hester, and with Sarah-Jane Walker (University of Bristol), Lizzie McCarthy and Lisa Johnson (Women’s Aid).

The project has been approved by the University of Bristol Research Ethics Committee and is funded by the Oak Foundation.

We are seeking input from people who are over the age of 18 who have experienced coercive control from an intimate partner or ex-partner (e.g. husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, civil partner) whether currently or in the past. We recognise that coercive control and abuse can also be perpetrated by family members and carers, but this particular survey is only looking at experiences of such abuse from an intimate partner or ex-partner. 

We would like to hear from people of all genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, ethnicities, faiths or no faiths and regardless of immigration status. We know that perpetrators of domestic abuse often use coercive and controlling behaviours. We are seeking information specifically on experiences of coercive control where the perpetrator has included the use or misuse of medicines in their abuse, for example, witholding or denying access to prescribed medicines or treatment (including vaccinations and birth control methods) and other drugs (including illegal drugs).

What do we ask in the survey?

We first ask you to give your consent to participate in this survey. We then have some preliminary questions about you and your background. We would like to collect this so that when we come to analyse all the responses, we can explore whether and how different factors may relate to individual experiences of coercive control. This data is collected anonymously. This is followed by a set of questions exploring abuse and coercive or controlling behaviour that you have experienced yourself. None of the questions are mandatory except for those regarding your consent to the survey on page 3.

We estimate this survey may take 20-30 minutes to complete. However, it may take longer, depending on your experiences and how much you wish to write.

We hope to be completing this work by the end of October 2021. We intend to leave this survey open until 30th September 2021.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more before taking part in this research, please email the project lead Professor Marianne Hester at:

If you would like support or to speak to someone further regarding your experiences, please consider contacting one of the following organisations:

Women’s Aid:

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: T. 0808 2000 247

The Men’s Action Line (male victims-survivors): T.0808 801 0327(run by Respect)

Covering your tracks online 

This survey will save your responses so you can move back and forth through the survey until you press ‘FINISH’ at the end. Your answers may be saved on your computer (if you haven’t pressed ‘FINISH’) even after you have turned it off.

If you are worried about someone seeing what you have been doing online, use a different computer, either at a local library, internet cafe, at a friend’s house or at work.

To see more information on covering your tracks online please visit:

Thank you for your time.

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