Thursday, July 28, 2022
HomeOpinionEditorialCoercive control checklist could save lives

Coercive control checklist could save lives

No idea what coercive control is? You’re not alone.

Despite coercive control being an overwhelmingly common experience in abusive relationships – as well as being a significant factor in most deaths resulting from domestic violence – most people in the community don’t know what coercive control is or how it might manifest.

One way to learn about coercive control is to watch Jess Hill’s See What You Made Me Do on SBS On Demand until May 2022, a three-part documentary which explores what she calls “the crisis of domestic abuse in Australian society”.

A quicker way is now also available.

An easy-to-read, pocket-sized brochure featuring information about coercive control was released in May to coincide with Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

A Pocket Guide to Relationships, Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control aims to help people understand how you can still be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship even where there is no physical violence.

Produced by the St George Domestic Violence Committee, it provides a healthy relationship checklist plus general information about support.

Th brochure defines coercive control as an abusive behaviour used to cause fear and/or control a person or situation. “This type of domestic violence is known as domestic abuse and can go undetected in intimate partner relationships for years,” it says.

If not recognised, controlling behaviours like gaslighting, stalking, technological abuse and more can escalate to physical, life-threatening violence – so people should seek advice and support even if they’re unsure this is what they’re experiencing.

“There are people around us whose lives are not what they seem,” Jess Hill says in the opening of See What You Made Me Do. “They walk among us but carry an invisible burden. They are victims of domestic violence, over 3 million adults and children in this country.”

To help people find the support they need before the violence escalates, the coercive control brochure is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Nepali, Thai, and Bengali and can be downloaded FREE here


If you are worried about domestic violence, call the 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline on: 1800 656 463. Always call the Police on 000 if you are in danger. For more information on Domestic Violence please visit:

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