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What is Coercive Control?

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 isolationdegradation, 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

Coercive control is a widespread problem in Australia in domestic and group settings. It often results in victims suffering from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

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

1 thought on “What is Coercive Control?”

  1. Thanks for highlighting this Renee.
    I have been the victim of this in group settings, and now see it happening to many others. There is NO excuse for ignoring human rights in domestic or group settings.

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