Coercive Control refers to non-physical abuse through behaviours used by individuals to control their victims through emotional, psychological, and financial means.
While the physical impact of Family and Domestic Violence is often discussed and publicised, historically coercive control has largely gone unnoticed with very little attention publicly. As well as the obvious concern and impact that conduct of this type can have on a victim there is also the risk that quite often coercive control is an early indicator for an escalation of behaviour to physical violence, as was the case for Hannah. The Clarke family are passionate about seeing this form of conduct and control criminalised and recognised by the courts.
After a year of speaking as advocates for reform in this area, the Clarke family are delighted that the Queensland Government has announced plans to set up an independent task force to consult on potential coercive control legislation. Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk said the task force would be chaired by Justice Margaret McMurdo, former president of the Queensland Court of Appeal and head of the Lawyer X royal commission.
It is hoped that this legislation would afford better protection to victims.