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Coercive behaviourHave your say on proposed domestic violence laws.

What’s being decided?   Have your say; send your thoughts to Rex@LeadershipThinking.Academy – RU OK is part of this, negative behaviour that disempowers people so that they lose their ‘hold’ on life – a simple question could be enough to get someone out of what can be seen as the inevitable, no way out!

Having said that, coercive or other negative behaviours can only live where there is barren self-belief of the person they are attacking. Through the lowering of their self-belief, making them malleable to negative input. From a cause and effect perspective, this is the area the so-called ‘victim’ needs assistance, building up their own identity and their brand as they see and feel it! Positive reinforcement, displays of trust and confidence, the giving of confidence and sharing of ways they can assist you – they are worthy, let them hear themselves being respected. The ‘attacked’ will need to learn new skills, new sentences to respond assertively; ways not to be aggression of defensiveness.

There is a proposition to draft a Criminal Law Consolidation (Abusive Behaviour) Amendment Bill 2021 ,            to strengthen domestic violence laws by criminalising coercive and controlling behaviour against current or former intimate partners.


A new offence is proposed to criminalise abusive behaviours in intimate partner relationships. This will address a key aspect of domestic abuse that is often difficult to fit within existing criminal offences. *This is the tip of the iceberg!

Sustained and repeated abusive behaviour is an insidious form of domestic violence which is used to subordinate the victim’s will to that of the offender. For this reason, it is often referred to as ‘coercive control’. Although it may involve some physical abuse, other tactics involve emotional and psychological abuse which destabilise the victim’s sense of identity and autonomy, making them easier to control.

The thinking of ‘LeadershipThinking.Academy’ on this matter is that coercive behaviour is everywhere. It is bullying, it is harassment, it is passive-aggressive – it is everywhere.

People who act in this manner are not necessarily bad people; they are damaged, and their behaviour can be a result of their personal experiences. Coercive is about one person putting themselves over another. It is controlling, it is intimidatory, and it is about taking away one person’s right to self-determination and supplanting it with a narrative that belittles and eats away at self-esteem and self-worth. It is everywhere:

  • Where have you been – accusatory?
  • Why did it take you so long to get from ‘A” to ‘B’ -inference of some misbehaviour
  • Why are you wearing that – suggestive if inappropriate
  • You don’t need money; I will look after everything for you – power taking
  • Where did the money go you had, surely you haven’t spent it all – down putting, trust usurping
  • Why did you buy that, waste of money – eating away at the right to choose and decision making

There are so many sentences that are coercive and the longer this behaviour continues, the more both parties react to it – the coercer finds many variations on a theme and the subject starts to see coercion in almost every statement.

Remedies are difficult as both parties will have become habit ridden in the part they play. If the subject leaves the coercer, they will find it difficult not to see that same behaviour in any new relationship – a healthy relationship has a degree of one person taking the lead; are they doing that with full knowledge and approval or has it just crept up into that position?

It can help early on, to agree some ground rules –

  • We balance the credit card together, the 5th of each month
  • We do not accept invitations out, until we check with each other
  • We do not invite people over until we check with each other
  • Anything that is seen as a lead into one person controlling the other needs to be discussed and acceptable ground rules need to be put into place.

Once someone learns ‘the behaviour’, the ‘assumption’, the coercer or coerced, their lives are damaged. Both behaviours will be easy if unpleasant, to maintain as is, indeed move it other relationships and duplicate the previous.

This can be life partners, parents, parents, and children; it can be work makes, bosses and even subordinates (I dislike that word, but I needed to express hierarchy) It can be supplier and client it can be where any two people interact and it most likely is.

Finding a sustainable remedy will almost certainly require support from a third party.
That is unlikely to be a friend or relative known or not known to both parties, it most probably will not be HR and unlikely to be a psychologist. The fixing of these matters boils down to gaining trust and clarity of what actually to do. It is not about Fault finding or blame or who is right and who is wrong. We at ‘LeadershipThinking.Academy’ specialise in matters concerning behaviour and we assure you we have not been unduly impacted by academics; we work from hands-on experience. #defensiveness #Coercivebehaviour #bullying #harassment #failure #worthless

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