Shining a Light on Coercive Control

Lighting a candle to remember Hannah Clarke and her children – Feb 19, 2021.

Coercive control refers repeated patterns of psychological, emotional, financial and/or technology-enabled abuse that can be difficult to ‘see’. It is highly gendered, meaning that women experience coercive control from their intimate partners more often than do men. The case of Hannah Clarke shows coercive control as a pattern of behaviours that build over time. Hannah was subjected to contolling abuse for many years, when on 19 Feb. 2020 she and her three young children were brutally murdered by Hannah’s estranged husband. Moves towards legislating coercive control as a criminal offence has gained rapid momentum in 2021, a year following Hannah’s death. Her family have established a foundation called Small Steps 4 Hannah to educate and raise awarness on this issue. Futher, Queensland has set up a taskforce to investigate introducing coercive control laws. New South Wales is similarly looking into to legislation to criminalise coercive control. However, there have been cautions around moving too fast on the introduction of such legislation.

As sociologists and bloggers RosMacall (Dr Judy Rose & Dr Toni McCallum) are currently researching and writing about coercive control. We have created a blog to keep up with this fast-moving conversation. We aim to help encourage a broader public understanding of coercive control, as Australia moves towards a national definition. We are open to hearing about and sharing information, initiatives, education campaigns, research, advocacy and experiences of coercive control in the context of family and domestic violence. We are experienced family sociologists, educators and speakers and always willing to attend community events to help increase awareness around coercive control.

Why do this?

  • We believe a clearer understanding of coercive control is needed in society
  • We want to discuss related issues including family, relationships, gender and parenting
  • We would like to hear from diverse social and cultural voices and perspectives
  • We would love to connect with other researchers, the general public, advocates, legal experts and victim/survivors and their families.
  • We want this blog to provide a safe and open space for informed conversations
  • We ask that conversations be respectful (We will moderate comments)

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