Coercive Control

Since the 2015 release of the "Not Now Not Ever" report on Domestic Violence in Queensland, there has been greater focus on non violent types of domestic violence.  These include harassment, emotional abuse, verbal abuse and name-calling, and control tactics.  It is now increasingly common to see domestic violence matters where no physical violence is alleged at all.

There is also greater attention being paid to the concept of "coercive control".  Coercive control refers to a pattern of behaviour or a series of acts which harms, intimidates, isolates or punishes the victim.  It is a more subtle category of abusive behaviour which seeks to control the victim.  Acts that may be coercive control include isolating the victim from supportive friends and family, controlling their finances and social behaviours and regulating their daily lives.

Coercive control has been made into a criminal offence in the United Kingdom.  In Queensland and other Australian jurisdictions, there are calls to include coercive control as a criminal offence similar to stalking.

Coercive control is a complex concept, because what may be controlling behaviour in one relationship is not necessarily problematic behaviour in another.  Social, cultural and other contexual factors may be very important in being able to establish whether or not there is coercive control in a particular matter.

At Jasper Fogerty Lawyers, we believe that we are at the forefront of domestic violence practice in Queensland.  We work very hard to ensure that our knowledge is up to date, and we draw from the latest social, psychological and criminological research to inform our practice.  Our lawyers are part of the wider community discourse about domestic violence law reform and social policy.

Family and domestic violence support services:

Other resources that can help:

  • WIRE: 1300 134 130
  • Victims of Crime (or your state or territory's Victims of Crime service): 1800 819 817
  • If you're in immediate danger, call the police: 000

Contact the authors:

Rebecca Fogerty

Mobile: 0432 512 902