Recognising and responding to coercive control

Professor Douglas and Ms Hannah Ehler2022


“…coercive control in some ways is the invisible part of domestic violence but the most dangerous in respect of emotional harm, and can escalate into very dangerous situations and can be difficult problems to overcome in court. Having the experience of other judicial officers and tribunal members is a really excellent way to be educated about it". AIJA President, the Hon Justice Jenny Blokland

Given the AIJA’s publication of the National Domestic & Family Violence Bench Book (‘Bench Book’), the AIJA received funding from the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department to undertake consultation and promotion of the Bench Book including in relation to content on coercive control.

The coordinator of the Bench Book, Professor Heather Douglas of Melbourne Law School, was engaged by the AIJA to conduct this project. The AIJA appointed an advisory committee of current and former members of the judiciary to provide guidance, and for consultation purposes, introductions to an extensive list of other members of the judiciary from all states and territories with knowledge and experience in the area of family disputes and domestic violence matters.

As a result of that consultation Professor Douglas and Ms Hannah Ehler produced the following report:

‘Coercive Control and Judicial Education: A Consultation Report’ by Douglas & Ehler

Based on the Consultation Report and with input from the AIJA’s advisory committee, Professor Douglas, and Ms Greta Robenstone, produced the following resources to facilitate judicial education about coercive control:

1. Slides for education sessions: ‘Recognising and Responding to Coercive Control’
2. Speaker’s Notes for the slides: ‘Recognising and Responding to Coercive Control’
3. A video 'Coercive Control: Recognition and Response’, featuring members of the judiciary discussing coercive control'

The AIJA is very pleased to provide access to these valuable resources.