New research highlights need for action on coercive control
Minister for Social Services
The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Joint media release
Shocking new findings that 3.6 million Australians have been subject to emotional abuse by a partner show the urgent need for national focus on this extremely important issue.
Earlier this month at the Meeting of Attorneys-General, Commonwealth, state and territory Attorneys-General agreed to the release of Australia's first Draft National Principles to Address Coercive Control.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the release of these principles was an important first step in tackling this issue.
"Coercive control is a pattern of abusive behaviour designed to create power and dominance over another person or persons," Mr Dreyfus said.
"The Australian Bureau of Statistics analysis of Personal Safety Survey data finds an estimated 2.2 million adult women and 1.4 million adult men have experienced emotional abuse by a partner at some point since the age of 15.
"Because it often doesn't involve actual physical violence, coercive control is often not recognised until it is too late, with tragic consequences.
"The Draft National Principles to Address Coercive Control are aimed at achieving a collective understanding of the threat, and to promote greater awareness among the community."
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the data was concerning.
"I am incredibly concerned with the data released today showing an estimated 2.2 million adult women and 1.4 million adult men have experienced emotional abuse by a partner at some point since the age of 15," Minister Rishworth said.
"The finding that childhood experiences of abuse and exposure to violence increased the risk of experiencing partner emotional abuse later in life highlights why breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence is so crucial.
"The next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032 (the National Plan) will include a focus on coercive control and I want to work closely with my state and territory counterparts to improve legal responses for all forms of gender-based violence."
The National Plan will be released by October.
The Draft National Principles to Address Coercive Control will be released for public consultation shortly and information on the consultation process will be available on the Attorney‑General's Department website.