I use controlling behaviour and need help to change

We’re glad you’re here…

It’s a very difficult thing to admit that you are abusing your partner or former partner. The fact that you’re here hopefully means that you want to change; that you want a better future for yourself and those close to you. We’d like you to know that help is available and you’ve come to the right place.

If you would like to speak to someone about what to do next, you can contact Bradford Survive and Thrive on 0808 2800 999, or you can contact a national helpline called Respect on 0808 802 4040

You can find out more about the services Respect provides on their website

Spotting the signs

Abuse in a relationship is when you try to control someone, hurt them or force them to do things they don’t want to.

This can be done in many different ways and it isn’t always obvious.

Types of abusive behaviour:

  • Abuse may start with name calling but can escalate over time into physical violence.
  • Violence (hitting, kicking, slapping)
  • Emotional (humiliating and putting your partner down)
  • Sexual (forcing your partner to do sexual acts they don’t want to or posting intimate pictures of them online)
  • Financial (controlling money, taking out loans in your partner’s name)

Here are some more signs. If you think ‘yes, that’s me’ then you can choose to change and get the help you need. 

  • Are you jealous? Do you constantly need to know where your partner is?
  • Does it make you angry when they want to spend time with friends or family?
  • Do you have strong opinions about what they wear or who they see?
  • Do you call them names and put them down?
  • Have you ever threatened to hurt yourself if they say they want to leave the relationship?
  • Do you text them excessively?
  • Do you monitor their calls and emails?
  • Do you continue to use drugs and alcohol even though you know that these can escalate an argument and your partner is concerned what will happen when you are under the influence
  • Do you ever use force in an argument – including using your physical presence to intimidate?
  • Do you think they are responsible for your problems or feelings?
  • Do you force them to do anything they don’t want to?

And now the next steps, a few things you could do to start perhaps a different life for you and for those close to you.

Bradford Maze

Bradford Maze is a programme run by Survive and Thrive which works with perpetrators of abuse in order to reduce risk of future abuse.

We offer a service to all perpetrators, regardless of your gender, sexuality or age, so long as you acknowledge that you are, or have been, abusive and want to make changes, through our Bradford Maze Behaviour Change programme.

The first steps following either self-referral or referral by a professional would be an initial assessment which consists of:

  • A clear conversation about what the service can offer
  • An assessment of their willingness to choose to change their abusive behaviour
  • A risk assessment, which is crucial for informing an intervention going forward
  • An assessment for the motivation for long term engagement
  • Safety planning
  • Naming domestic abuse (rather than anger management)

What Bradford Maze offers:

1-to-1 sessions

  • Three to six sessions are delivered for women, LGBT+, 16 to 18-year-olds, and men who have additional needs such as those with learning difficulties or where English is not the participant’s first language. 1-to1 sessions are specifically targeted to issues identified during assessment, where this is the most appropriate intervention.

Group work

  • An in-depth Domestic Abuse Prevention Programme
  • 18+ men’s groupwork programme (17 and 26 week options)
  • Urdu/Punjabi speaking programme men’s groupwork (26 weeks)


Referrals can be made either by professionals or service users via the One Front Door.

  • Client must acknowledge they have used abuse within an intimate relationship
  • Client must take responsibility for their harmful behaviour
  • Client must be committed to long term behaviour change
  • We will accept referrals for men and women
  • Client must be at least 16 years old
  • Client should live within the Bradford district or have a child who is a permanent resident in Bradford

“The programme has help me in many ways I now think about the things I may want to say and do before I make any action i realised the way I used to behave and things I used to say was verbal abuse and it is wrong” 


“Justifying my actions by ‘partner blaming’ as this is what I did and would not admit my actions before going on the Maze course, however the course helped me to see beyond ‘partner blaming’ and the impact my behaviour has had”