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  • Writer's pictureDebbs Murray

Australian principles to address coercive control

The Australian Government are getting it right.  They have developed a set of National Principles to address coercive control in family violence.  Please check out this link - Coercive Control | Attorney-General's Department (

It really is time for Aotearoa New Zealand to be more aware of the brutality of coercive control, the consequences, homicide, suicide and Whole of person Entrapment, and every singular moment of lost liberty that a primary victim experiences at the hands of their predominant aggressor.  


ECLIPSE is built upon a foundation of sharing knowledge, and understanding through the lens of lived experience to shine a spotlight on the destruction of coercive control.   We do this through the sharing of personal journeys of coercive control in the context of family violence.

We talk about Coercive Control being an Umbrella Tactic © it exists in every single perpetrated act.  Coercive control and the resulting Entrapment is Multifaceted – it exists in multiple spaces in family violence and family violence response – 1. Relational – Intimate partner Violence, Intrafamilial violence and Child Abuse and Neglect, what our predominant aggressor does to their primary victim.  2. Practice and Systemic Entrapment -  use of coercive control in practice and organisational response.  3.  Structural Entrapment – societal and structural inequity and abuse.


We simply cannot appropriately respond to coercive control in the context of family violence if we do not explore whānau experiences across all facets of family violence.  As practitioners, we often, without even knowing us, use our power to “persuade” whānau to do what we think is right, rather than understanding their experiences, their perspective and upholding their dignity by allowing them to lead the way.  And out inequitable systemic structures, racism, sexism, gender bias etc are merely additional barriers for whānau to navigate.  No wonder they so often do not reach out.


So lets step it up Aotearoa, lets get this push for the recognition of coercive control as a destructive and brutal family violence tactic – at the very least, lets get people to see it for what it is.

Australia recognises coercive control as a pressing issue that requires a coordinated national approach. The government has collaborated with all state and territory governments to develop the National Principles to Address Coercive Control in Family and Domestic Violence (the National Principles). The National Principles create a shared national understanding of coercive control, which is important for improving the safety of Australians, particularly women and children.

The 7 National Principles focus on:

  1. A shared understanding of the common features of coercive control.

  2. Understanding the traumatic and pervasive impacts of coercive control.

  3. Taking an intersectional approach to understanding features and impacts.

  4. Improving societal understanding of coercive control.

  5. Embedding lived experience.

  6. Coordinating and designing approaches across prevention, early intervention, response, and recovery and healing.

  7. Embedding the National Principles in legal responses to coercive control.


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