The power in understanding patterns of coercive control

The power in understanding patterns of coercive control

Heather Nancarrow, Hayley Boxall, Emma Rogers and Jackie Wruck
23 June 2021

This webinar explored how services can support women to describe the impacts of coercive control and respond to their partner’s behaviours.

Woman on the phone sitting on the ground against a wall with her head in her palm.

Domestic and family violence service responses often place physical and sexual violence above other forms of abuse in terms of their risk and potential for harm. However, minimising the harm caused by non-physical forms of violence can have a negative effect on service responses for victim-survivors.

This webinar explored ways that services can use the language of coercive control to support women to expose patterns of abusive behaviour. Specifically, it:

  • Describe coercive control and its prevalence in Australia
  • Share one woman’s lived experience of coercive control
  • Present practical strategies that support women to describe and expose patterns of controlling behaviour

This webinar will be of interest to professionals working in domestic and family violence, mental health, child protection and other social services.

Related resources

This webinar is presented in collaboration with ANROWS and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

ANROWS (Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety) logo

Featured image: © GettyImages/Rattankun Thongbun

Related topics

About the presenters

Heather Nancarrow

Dr Heather Nancarrow is the CEO of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). For more than 35 years, Heather has worked to address violence against women, including in community services and advocacy, government policy and research. Heather is an adjunct associate professor at UNSW and an adjunct research fellow at the Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University. Her scholarship is focused on justice responses to violence against women, particularly as they relate to violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Heather’s book Unintended Consequences of Domestic Violence Law: Gendered Aspirations and Racialised Realities was published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Hayley Boxall

Since joining the Australian Institute of Criminology 10 years ago, Hayley has published extensively in the areas of domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) and child abuse and neglect, with a primary focus on the offending and reoffending patterns of DFSV offenders, the impact of natural disasters on DFSV, adolescent family violence and domestic violence desistance processes. She has also been involved in the evaluation of a range of government-funded programs, such as the Adolescent Family Violence Program, the ‘Preventing Violence against Women in our Community’ project and restorative justice approaches to DFSV. Hayley is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University. Her thesis focuses on factors associated with domestic violence desistance processes.

Emma Rogers

Emma has 25 years of experience working in the field of social work in Australia and the UK in the areas of domestic and family violence (women’s refuges), mental health, youth homelessness, asylum seeker support and child protection. Emma currently works for the Queensland Government Department of Child Safety, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs as the acting Walking with Dads Principal Program Officer. For the past four years she has developed and worked in the Walking with Dads Program – an innovative program that has a strong partnering foundation with mothers and children to create interventions for fathers, to hold them accountable and responsible for their destructive behaviours and to increase safety and wellbeing for families. Emma is also a certified Safe & Together Trainer.

Jackie Wruck

Jackie Wruck is a proud Aboriginal Yindinji woman from Far North Queensland, Yarrabah region, and is a Crisis Practitioner at the Centre Against Domestic Abuse. Jackie’s own experience of domestic and family violence led her to becoming a certified Safe & Together trainer. Jackie previously worked as a facilitator and cultural advisor for the Walking with Dads program at the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women in Queensland. Walking with Dads works with, and walks with, fathers who have perpetrated violence in their families. Working with families all her life, Jackie is a vocal advocate for families and is passionate about keeping children out of the child protection system and making sure families’ voices are heard.


HI, Was wondering if there will be a recorded version of this webinar. Our team would like to attend however are in meeting's at this time. Thanks Belinda
Belinda Duxbury
Hi Belinda, thanks for your query. A recording of the presentation (including slides, audio and transcript) will be published on this page shortly after the broadcast.
Amanda Coleiro
Thanks for organising!
melinda tynan
Hi, I was wondering if coercive control against men was going to be addressed in this seminar? it seems that the it is entirely focused on women as the victim (which for the most part i know is very common). However i am aware that there are women (personal experience) who are narcissistic and display coercive control towards their partners in the form of emotional and verbal abuse and blackmail. it is disappointing to see that this is not highlighting that men can also be affected by this.
Hi Dani, thanks for your feedback. We have received several questions relating to cc against men, it's likely that this will be posed as a question for the presenters during the live event next week.
Cat Strawa
Hi Hayley, I was trying to find a copy of the checklist with the more appropriate language / words to use when getting survivors to describe or identify DFV - coercive control but could not find this anywhere. Can you please tell me where to access this as could not find it anywhere. Really enjoyed webinar thanks.
Hi Eileen, glad you enjoyed the webinar. The checklist idea that Hayley discussed was not in reference to a particular tool, but more checklists in general as part of a broader risk assessment process. The panel discussed this further in our extended Q&A session, and an example of using these in practice was provided by Emma and Jackie. So tune into that part of the recording when it is available shortly. Thanks
Mitchell Bowden

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