Understanding the complexities of Coercive Control in Domestic Family Violence SWSPM204

Poor understanding of coercive control as domestic family violence (DFV) in health, social and legal services is a significant issue for victim-survivors of DFV. It can result in compromised safety and affect all aspects of a victim-survivor's life, health and well-being. Coercive control can diminish a victim-survivor's ability to exercise their agency and autonomy, resulting in entrapment and, subsequently, they are unable to leave the relationship. Coercive control and DFV is a significant health, social and justice issue in Australia and around the world. This course is aimed at health, social and legal services professionals. These professionals often provide direct services to victim-survivors experiencing coercive control. They are in a position to provide early intervention and response, thus enhancing safety for victim-survivors and their children. In this micro-credential, participants will gain knowledge and a shared and consistent understanding of coercive control, recognize behaviours and tactics perpetrators use to coercively control intimate partners, risks and impacts on victim-survivors, document abuse, the systematic patterns of non-physical abuse vs physical violence, and legislation and community justice responses.

Upon successful completion of this micro-credential, you'll receive:

  • Three PD Points
  • A Certificate of Achievement
  • A UWA Plus Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials
Delivery mode
Course dates
15 July - 23 August 2024

Registrations close

8 July 2024

6 weeks
A total of 75 hours composed of pre-reading (reports, journal articles, books, articles, research papers) and pre-recorded lectures delivered by experts on coercive control (clinical and legal professionals and lived experience survivors). These will be followed by workshops with interactive activities, including videos and 2 case studies. The content will be delivered multimode (hybrid-lecture recordings, students online and in person).
Academic lead
Lindi Pelkowitz
$440 inc. GST
Critical information summary
Understanding the complexities of Coercive Control in Domestic Family Violence SWSPM204 [PDF 245KB]

What you'll learn

Participants will be able to:

Recognise and describe coercive control as a significant indicator of domestic family violence.

Explore the individualised, intersecting and cumulative nature of coercive control and differentiate between incident specific DFV and pattern-based abuse.

Recognise and identify the behaviours and tactics of perpetrators.

Identify the impacts and risks that result from coercive control and victim-survivor responses.

Recognise and document signs and perpetrator patterns of coercive control with victim-survivors and refer to specialist support for earlier intervention.

Describe the complexities and impacts of the legal system on coercive control victim-survivors.


Why study this course?

Coercive control and Domestic Family Violence (DFV) is a significant health, social and justice issue in Australia and around the world. Early engagement and response to DFV and coercive control is needed across sectors and health, social and legal professions. This course provides evidence-base knowledge to improve professionals' awareness of coercive control and DFV, to upskill them to identify, respond to, and refer them to support services.

Who should study this course?

This micro-credential is suitable for psychologists, social workers, doctors, lawyers, magistrates, child health nurses.


What's next after this course?

This 3 Professional Development Point micro-credential is stackable with other micro-credentials (to total 6 Professional Development Points) for unspecified academic credit towards a relevant course at UWA such as our Graduate Certificate in Child Protection Practice.


Registrations are open.

Register now