Position Paper: Should Coercive Control be Criminalised?

Coercive control is a deliberate pattern of abuse occurring within intimate relationships, consisting of emotional and psychological manipulation, such as intimidation, stalking, surveillance and isolation. It is commonly used in instances of family violence and is almost always a precursor to serious physical violence or homicide.

Issues covered in the paper include

  • The potential for the criminalisation of coercive control to improve judicial responses to family violence and contribute to the reduction of harm
  • Changing community attitudes towards controlling patterns of behaviour in relationships
  • The possible effect of criminalisation on refugee and migrant communities and the steps required to encourage positive outcomes

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