Coercive control is now a criminal offence- what is it?

From 1 July 2024 coercive control is a criminal offence in NSW when:

  1. a person uses abusive behaviours,
  2. towards a current or former intimate partner,
  3. with the intention to coerce or control them.

The criminal offence captures repeated patterns of physical or non-physical abuse used to hurt, scare, intimidate, threaten or control someone.

Coercive control can happen in other types of relationships. However, the legislation will be tested in current and former intimate partner relationships first.

This is because coercive control has been strongly linked to intimate partner homicide. The NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team found that in 97% of intimate partner domestic violence homicides cases, the victim had experienced coercive and controlling behaviours before being killed.

For more information see Coercive control | NSW Government

For support call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) for 24/7 support.