VIC Is “Dragging The Chain” On Coercive Control Laws

Sue and Lloyd Clarke Directors and Founders of Smalls Steps 4 Hannah have called on Australian States and Territories to follow QLD, NSW and SA in committing to Coercive Control Laws.

Particularly, they are calling out Victoria who are “dragging the chain” in criminalising coercive control.


Coercive Control is explained by Professor Evan Stark as “a pattern of domination that includes tactics to isolate, degrade, exploit and control” victims.

However, Victoria has no plans to introduce a standalone criminal offence.

The Victorian government believes that their civil Victorian Family Violence Protection Act already includes coercive behaviour in its family violence definition.

Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, were tragically murdered as a result of domestic violence on 19 February 2020.

Three years on, the story behind what happened, what was learnt and what needs to change is being told.  

“It’s called Hannah’s Story; its the complete story of Hannah,”

“Its powerful and it will be upsetting for some people but I think it will really hit home and drive the awareness,” Sue Clarke told B105’s Stav, Abby and Matt.

“We’ve got the get these Cohesive Control Laws Australia wide; QLD, NSW and SA all committed, they will have laws by the end of the year. We need Victoria to get on board.” Lloyd said.

The six episode podcast derives into Hannah’s life and how the Clarke’s lives were turned upside down on that fateful day.

“First responders are on it, the police commissioners are on it, the old attorney general is on it,” he said.

The month of May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

This year’s theme is ‘It’s in our control to end coercive control’.

The hashtags for social media are #endDFV, #endcoercivecontrol and #DFVPM2023.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, you should report it to police.

Support and counselling is available from the following agencies:

More information is also available from the Queensland Government Domestic and Family Violence portal.