Report sets clear path to curbing coercive control

Media release
The Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime has proposed a suite of reforms to confront the pattern of family and domestic violence behaviours known as coercive control.
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Commissioner for Victims of Crime holding the coercive control report

In a comprehensive report about coercive control published today, the Commissioner’s Office makes 24 recommendations to Government for systemic and legal changes.

Key recommendations include amending legislation to enable more effective recognition and response to behaviours such as intimidation, isolation and manipulation.

“While WA law recognises coercive control to some extent, the legislation is not able to respond adequately to behaviour that represents a pattern rather than a one-off incident,” Commissioner for Victims of Crime Kati Kraszlan said.

The report recommends that the systemic reform precede criminalising coercive control through the creation of a stand-alone offence.

The Commissioner’s Office conducted extensive community and stakeholder consultations to inform the report.

“Although each person’s experience of coercive control may be different, what is consistent is that people exercising coercive control cause their victims significant pain, fear and trauma,” Ms Kraszlan said.

“A clear finding from the consultations is that the justice system alone cannot stop coercive control,” she said. “What is needed is a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach to recognising and responding to these behaviours.”

The report outlines a way forward to prevent coercive control and provide victim-survivors with the supports that they need.

That includes wraparound services, access to accommodation, legal and social supports, as well as effective programs for perpetrators.

“We extend our deep respect and gratitude to the people who shared their thoughts and experiences with us throughout the consultation process,” Ms Kraszlan said.

Legislative responses to coercive control: Consultation outcomes report is available at