Domestic Violence, Coercive Control & How To Best Protect Yourself

Coercive control is a form of non-physical domestic violence that includes behaviors such as controlling or limiting access to money, controlling, or limiting what someone wears, tracking a person’s location, and controlling who someone sees or where they go. It is a repeated pattern of domination and intimidation. The psychological damage inflicted by coercive control often has effects lasting much longer than physical abuse and according to research in Britain, is more highly correlated with intimate partner homicide than physical abuse.

Tasmania is the only Australian state which has legislation directly addressing coercive and controlling behaviors. Coercive control has not yet been criminalized in Queensland, the only constraint against coercive or controlling behavior is a potential breach of a domestic violence order if there is one in place.

On 17 February 2021, the Palaszczuk Government announced that they would be appointing an independent taskforce to consult on coercive control legislation. This legislation would aim to make coercive or controlling behavior a crime, regardless of whether a Domestic Violence Protection Order is in place or not.

Until any legislation takes effect to criminalize coercive control, the only legal protection that can be offered against this behavior is a Domestic Violence Protection Order. In 2020, 16,249 Domestic Violence Protection Orders were applied for across Queensland. Domestic Violence Protection Orders can be applied for on your behalf by the Police, alternatively, private applications can be made by yourself personally.

Madsen Law can help protect you by pursuing a private application on your behalf. If you need legal advice or assistance with a Domestic Violence Order or Application, please don’t hesitate to call.

*If you are in immediate danger please contact the Police on 000*

– Article by Abigail Pugh (Solicitor) @ MADSEN LAW