Coercive control

Know the signs of abuse

A woman is surrounded by the warning signs of coercive control.

What is coercive control?

Coercive control is when someone repeatedly hurts, scares or isolates another person to control them.

It’s domestic abuse and it can cause serious harm, so it’s important to know the signs.


What is coercive control?

What are the signs?

Coercive control can be hard to spot because it often starts slowly or builds up over time.

It can involve both physical and non-physical abuse.

Everyone’s experience is different, but there are some common behaviours to look out for.

What are the impacts?

Coercive control is serious. It can impact every aspect of a person’s life.

"The most distressing thing I lost was me, my (self-worth). Couldn’t think straight, even to the point I couldn’t write out a shopping list, I couldn’t concentrate. I was always worried that I may do or say the wrong thing. It is so hard to describe to you the mental torment, always questioning yourself. Never being able to comprehend that this person who is supposed to love me can hurt you so badly."1


Who experiences it?

Anyone can experience coercive control. No matter what the situation is, it is never the victim-survivor's fault.

Coercive control and the law

Coercive control will soon be a criminal offence in NSW when it is used in current or former intimate partner relationships.

Get help

Illustration of young woman with a limb difference

Are you experiencing coercive control?

Contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or chat online to talk to a trained counsellor. Available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Woman with an invisible disability

Are you supporting someone else?

Contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or chat online for advice about how to support someone you care about. Available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Man seeking support for abusive behaviour

Are you worried about your behaviour?

Contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 to speak to a trained professional. Available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Quick exit

Call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) for 24/7 support

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