Coercive control is a collection of behaviours that seeks to undermine the freedom of another person. Indicators of this subtle form of abuse are:
- behaviour that seeks to dominate and control others through isolation, degradation, and exploitation
- typically displayed by controlling finances, using emotionally abusive language, gaslighting, and constant monitoring of victim’s interactions with others (often aided by technology-based surveillance, e.g., monitoring emails and texts)
- an infringement of universal human rights
- often a precursor to physical and sexual abuse, and in worst case scenarios, death
To address the gaps in current legislations, Australia needs a Coercive Control Act that will protect people in domestic and all family-like group settings.
On 29 March 2023, the Australian Federal Government released feedback from a consultation on coercive control. A summary of their findings is here: Consultation Draft – National Principles to Address Coercive Control