It’s a type of abuse experienced in most violent relationships and is a common precursor to domestic homicide. And it’s often completely legal.
Coercive control is a pattern of behaviour used to regulate and dominate another person’s daily life and remove their personal agency. It can include emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse. Ultimately, it causes individuals to make decisions that are not in their own best interest.
Bill C-332: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Coercive and Controlling Conduct) seeks to criminalize coercive control, adding more protections to people experiencing abuse. This vital bill is facing a second reading in Canada’s parliament on November 9. If it passes this hurdle, the legislation will move on to a committee which will study the proposed law.
Bill C-332 was introduced in May by NDP MP Laurel Collins (Victoria). It proposes that a person who engages in coercive control against a partner or family member could be charged with an offense punishable by up to five years in prison. Read the announcement here.
Criminalizing coercive control will:
Make sure your representative in Ottawa knows that protecting survivors is a priority and that you want them to vote to support Bill C-322.
Sagesse encourages all Canadians to support this bill and join the effort to end domestic abuse. We urge the federal government to take swift action to pass this bill and ensure that coercive control is recognized as a serious form of abuse.
For more information and resources related to coercive control, click here.