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June 18, 2024

New in-language coercive control campaign launched

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The NSW government has expanded its public awareness campaign on coercive control to include an in-language campaign for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The new campaign was reportedly developed by a specialist multicultural marketing agency and uses the image of a spider’s web.

The web symbolises an interconnected pattern of behaviours said to trap victims of coercive control,

Arabic, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin speakers are to appear as the first in-language versions of the campaign, with various translations in other languages to come in the next few months and a campaign tailored for First Nations audiences due for launch next week.

Multiculturalism Minister Steve Kamper says the government is acting on a recommendation from the Joint Select Committee ‘to deliver dedicated outreach and tailored communication to our culturally and linguistically diverse communities’.

‘We need to make sure everyone from all walks of life gets the message loud and clear,’ Mr Kamper was quoted in a media release as saying.

‘Coercive control is a crime.’

Meanwhile, NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison was quoted saying people from multicultural backgrounds were less likely to seek help due to cultural and language barriers.

Coercive control a crime in NSW from July

The new culturally and language diverse messaging comes after the state government launched its coercive control awareness campaign at the start of May, using the tagline ‘it’s not love, it’s coercive control’.

The campaign built on the launch of a website in August last year that the government says was designed to give the public access to credible information on the subject.

Coercive control is described as a pattern of behaviour which may include financial abuse, threats against pets or loved ones, tracking someone’s movements, or isolating them from friends and family to control them.

It’s insidious and able to manifest in many ways but NSW is the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a standalone dedicated offence of coercive control.

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Act 2022 criminalises coercive control in current or former intimate partner relationships in NSW starting from 1 July 2024.

Perpetrators can face up to seven years in prison.

The NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team found about 97% of intimate partner domestic violence homicides in NSW between 2000 and 2018 happened after the perpetrators had been using emotional and psychological abuse as a form of coercive control towards their victims.

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  1. It is important for young people to know about this kind of behaviour so they can recognise early warnings of an abusive relationship, especially before they have children. Children become another tool for abusers to ensure a partner does not leave the realtionship. The time a partner appears to intend to leave such a relationship becomes extremely dangerous. Prevention is always better than finding solutions to such problems.


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