Coercive control, including gaslighting, of present and former domestic partners, will soon become illegal in NSW.
Lifeline Counsellor Maxine said that coercive control has a devastating effect of on the emotional health and wellbeing of those subjected to it.
“People who are coercively controlled often no longer have any decision making ability,” she said.
Coercive control involves patterns of abuse that have the cumulative effect of denying victims/survivors their autonomy and independence.
Coercive control includes constantly checking on where people go, who they have visited, what they wear and what they say.
“Gaslighting is a big problem,” Maxine said.
She said women who are gaslighted have partners telling them they are wrong about something they know to be right and correct them until they believe it’s true.
“Women are often told they are stupid, useless or unattractive and lucky to have someone until they believe it,” she explained.
Stalking, harassment and intimidation, which includes some coercive behaviour, of Broken Hill domestic violence survivors have risen by 44 per cent.
NSW Government plans to include the Department of Education reviewing school programs about respectful relationships to ensure these include content about coercive and controlling behaviour
There will also be comprehensive training on coercive control introduced across Government systems and increased awareness programs for the community.
If you need help regarding domestic violence you can call Lifeline on 131114 or for advice and support call Broken Hill Staying Home, Leaving Violence Monday to Thursday on 0880882520.