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Law Council of Australia


Draft National Principles to Address Coercive Control

The Law Council is highly supportive of the development of the National Principles to Address Coercive Control (National Principles) to inform various measures aimed at addressing coercive control, noting that effective responses to coercive control will be greatly assisted by nationally consistent policy settings. Coercive control arises in many family and domestic violence (FDV) situations and the implementation of measures to address coercive control is essential to assist victim-survivors in seeking proper and substantive justice.

Coercive control involves perpetrators using abusive behaviours in a pattern over time in a way that creates and maintains power and dominance over another person or persons.1 Perpetrators may use physical or non-physical abusive behaviours, or a combination of both. Coercive control is often a central or underlying feature of FDV, and is a known predictor of future or escalated family violence.

The Law Council commends the Attorney-General’s Department for the trauma-informed approach to coercive control outlined in the Draft National Principles, and makes the following observations with a view to refining the National Principles prior to their finalisation.

1 Meeting of Attorneys-General, National Principles to Address Coercive Control – Consultation Draft (September 2022) 3.


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