Victims Voice Survey: Coercive Control

Thank you for taking two minutes to complete this important survey. Victims voices are at the centre of this domestic violence law reform campaign and we want to make sure that your voice is heard.  All responses will be anonymous. 

The most dangerous cases happen when domestic violence, stalking and coercive control co-occur. This is where women and children are more likely to be murdered and early identification and intervention is vital to saving lives.

Currently, the laws used to prosecute domestic abuse – including breach of a restraining order, damaging property, assault, burglary, rape, kidnapping and murder – do not describe its essence. It misses the fact that domestic abuse is about fear and a pattern of continuing acts. However,  lawyers only prosecute for a single event and tends to focus on the injury level. As a direct result, the seriousness of the pattern of abuse is not identified or understood, victims become entrapped, abuse and rape become normalised and no-one goes to prison without injuries being present. Put simply, the criminal law does not conceive many women in abusive relationships as victims of ongoing abuse.

Unacceptable controlling, domineering and demeaning behaviours currently fall outside the law and cumulative harms are ignored when each abusive incident is treated as an isolated offence. Victims often report that “the violence isn’t the worst part” of being abused and that the non-violent forms of abuse can be more devastating than physical or sexual violence. However, current law also leads to minimisation of abuse by police and courts. We want to change this and need your help. 

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* 1. What is your sex?

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* 2. Have you been a victim of domestic abuse? (includes coercive control, psychological, financial, emotional and physical)

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* 3. How long did the abuse last?

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* 4. Were there controlling, domineering and/or demeaning behaviours in the relationship?

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* 5. Did you report to the police?

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* 6. If you did report to the police, did they take into consideration the pattern of behaviour? If you didn't report to police, please go to Question 8

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* 7. If you did report to the police, was the controlling behaviour taken into account by the Criminal Justice System?

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* 8. Do you think psychological abuse should be taken into account?

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* 9. Many survivors of abuse say that the “violence isn’t the worst part” of being abused and the non-violent forms of abuse (unacceptable controlling, domineering and demeaning behaviour) can be more devastating than physical or sexual violence. Would you agree with this?

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* 10. Currently the pattern of abuse and the psychological impact falls outside the current criminal law.  Do you think the law needs to be updated and modernised to include coercive control?

0 of 10 answered
 

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