Coercive Control Self‑Assessment Tool

Are you or someone you know experiencing domestic abuse? Take this short self-assessment to identify whether coercive control might be present in the relationship.

You can leave questions unanswered. Any answers are anonymous.

Don't have time to complete the self-assessment? Skip and learn more about coercive control behaviours.

  • 1
    Physical Abuse
  • 2
    Sexual Abuse
  • 3
    Economic Abuse
  • 4
    Emotional Abuse
  • 5
    Minimising & Denying
  • 6
    Isolation
  • 7
    Intimidation
  • 8
    Threats
  • 9
    Blaming
  • 10
    Male Privilege

1 Physical Abuse

1. Physical Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Have you (or your children) ever been cornered, restrained, tied up, caged or locked up by your partner?
Has your partner ever shaken, stabbed or beaten you (or your children)?
Have you (or your children) ever been pushed, kicked, squeezed, grabbed, slapped, pinched, tripped or punched by your partner?
Has your partner made you or your children ever fear for your life?
Has your partner ever tried to choke, strangle or drown you (or your children)?
Has your partner ever burned, drugged, or poisoned you (or your children)?
Are there other ways you have experienced physical abuse?

2 Sexual Abuse

2. Sexual Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Are you able to recall being (sexually) intimate with your partner when you did not want to?
Have you ever been intimate with your partner because you were afraid of them?
Has your partner made you have a sexual experience when you had too much alcohol to drink or when you had taken something (e.g., drugs)?
Have you ever been forced by your partner to watch pornography or been filmed during intimate activity against your wishes?
Has your partner forced you to become pregnant?
Has your partner forced you to terminate or lose a pregnancy you wanted?
Are there other ways you can recall experiencing sexual abuse?

3 Economic Abuse

3. Economic Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Have you felt worried to speak to your partner about money?
Have you been afraid to ask for money for something you need such as groceries, transportation, or personal items?
Does your partner control money and limit your access to ATM cards, bank accounts and financial information?
Does your partner take out loans in your name without your consent?
Have you lost a job because your partner has sabotaged your ability to work, e.g., with childcare or transportation arrangements?
Have you lost a job because your partner has turned up at your place of work and caused problems?
Has your partner stopped you from applying for a job or taking a promotion?
Does your partner pressure you to give money to them against your wishes?
Has your partner stopped you from improving your employment prospects through education and training?
Are there other ways you have experienced economic abuse?

4 Emotional Abuse

4. Emotional Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Does your partner humiliate and yell at you, often only in private?
Do you avoid certain topics with your partner because you are afraid of angering them?
Does your partner constantly criticise and put you down for your opinions, including your religious beliefs?
Do you feel exhausted and overwhelmed by your partner's unreasonable demands?
Does your partner make you feel helpless, alone and emotionally numb?
Has your partner undermined your mothering skills by telling you or your children that you are stupid, a failure etc?
Has your partner told your children to ignore and not listen to your instructions?
Do your children/ others in your life call you insulting names they have learned from your partner?
Do your children physically and verbally abuse you?
Are there other ways you have experienced emotional abuse?

5 Minimising and Denying as Abuse

5. Minimising and Denying as Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Does your partner deny responsibility for their actions and shift the blame elsewhere?
Do you second-guess yourself because your partner tells you something did not happen the way you remembered or experienced it?
Has your partner told you that, because there are no bruises, no one will believe you are being abused?
Does your partner blame you for their own behaviour?
Does your partner demand you feel differently about something that upsets you? For example, Get over it, Don't be so sensitive, Pull yourself together, Don't look so serious
Do you live in a state of confusion and doubt about what you feel, see and experience?
Does your partner question or dismiss your emotional reactions by suggesting your feelings are wrong or unimportant?
Does your partner act charming in public but behind closed doors behave differently?
Are there other ways you have experienced minimising and denying?

6 Isolation as Abuse

6. Isolation as Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Are you cut off from your family and friends and not allowed to see them without your partner's permission?
Does your partner control who you can speak to, text or message on your phone?
Are you unable to leave the house without permission from your partner?
Does your partner control passwords on your devices for social media, TV and your phone?
Are you dependent on your partner for daily living needs because they do not allow you to leave the home?
Does your partner require you to have their permission to use social media, TV and your phone?
Are you prevented from practicing your religion or attending your place of worship by your partner?
Does your partner control when you can use the car, where you can go and for how long?
Are there other ways you have experienced isolation?

7 Intimidation as Abuse

7. Intimidation as Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Does your partner monitor your emails and messages?
Does your partner monitor your computer or phone?
Are you being followed or harassed by your partner with unwanted and unnecessary contact in person or by mail, email, phone, text message, social media, etc?
Does your partner send offensive material to you, or to others about you?
Are you afraid your partner's behaviour will get worse if you leave the relationship?
Are you being pressured to stay in the relationship or put up with abuse because divorce is against your religion?
Has your partner made you believe you will lose the children if you leave the relationship?
Has your partner made you believe he will turn the children against you?
Are there other ways you have experienced intimidation?

8 Threats as Abuse

8. Threats as Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Has your partner threatened to hurt you or your family to get you to do something they want?
Has your partner threatened to hurt themselves to get you to do something they want?
Has your partner told you they will take your children away and/ or harm the children?
Has your partner told you they will tell someone else about a secret you both share, such as your sexual orientation or a mental illness, if you don't do something they want?
Has your partner threatened to tell Police you are an abuser and to have you arrested?
Has your partner threatened to harm family pets to emotionally hurt you?
Are there other ways you have experienced threats?

9 Blaming as Abuse

9. Blaming as Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Does your partner judge you and put you down for having different feelings and opinions to them? For example, do they say things such as, No one else feels that way, or, You need help, or, You are too sensitive.
Does your partner label you as the crazy one in the relationship?
Does your partner blame you for all the problems in the relationship?
Does your partner tell you that because you are the problem, no other relationship will ever be different to this one?
Does your partner tell you that you deserve the abuse because it's your fault?
Has your partner told you that if the relationship were so bad you would have left by now?
Has your partner accused you of things you are not doing (e.g., having an affair) as an excuse for their abuse?
Are there other ways you have experienced blaming?

10 Male Privilege as Abuse

10. Male Privilege as Abuse

Never
Sometimes
Often
Always
Does your partner feel insecure or inferior because you have a higher salary or qualifications than they do?
Do you feel trapped in a relationship that is not equal?
Does your partner play down or ignore your achievements because they see your primary role as being a wife or mother/ carer?
Are you embarrassed by your partner's displays of superiority in the company of others?
Does your partner leave you out of decision-making because they are the 'breadwinner'?
Does your partner do less (or no) housework, childcare, cooking and other home-related responsibilities because they consider it to be a woman's or a wife's job?
Do you feel pressured to conform to a certain type of appearance and behaviour for your partner?
Are you in a relationship based on traditional gender roles even though you don't want it to be that way?
Are there other ways you have experienced male privilege?

Coercive control in intimate partner relationships is where one person chooses to exert power over their partner to gain and maintain control of them. Abusers use coercive control to restrict the freedom of thought, expression, movement and independence of their partner by placing constraints on their partner’s time, spending, socialising and other aspects of everyday living.

Coercive control is a pattern of behaviours that can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, threats, intimidation, isolation, blaming, minimising and the exercise of male privilege.

Everyone deserves safety and respect in their intimate relationships. Nobody has the right to control, hurt, intimidate or humiliate you. Nobody has the right to threaten you or the people you love, or to control you.

Use safe technology practices whilst accessing and completing this assessment. We suggest using an incognito browser, deleting your browser history or using a friend or family member’s device if you think your device is at risk of being monitored.

The safe exit button located on the right of your screen will immediately close your session when clicked, and open the Bureau of Meteorology website instead. Please remember to manually delete your browser history.

This assessment is anonymous. Your identity is protected and cannot be accessed by completing and submitting your response.

Find steps to keeping safe online at Yourtoolkit.com/1A.

You can complete this self-assessment in private or with the support of a friend or support worker. You can also use this tool if you have concerns about a friend or family member who may be experiencing coercive control.

For the most accurate results, answer all the questions. The full assessment takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. If you have less time, you can choose to answer only selected sections or questions about specific behaviours you are most worried about.

Please note, this is not a formal risk assessment appraisal. Based on your answers, the results will give guidance concerning the coercive control behaviours you may be exposed to and provide resources and information to help you navigate your situation.

If you are in immediate danger please call Triple Zero (000), or to speak to a trained counsellor and call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). Visit Yourtoolkit.com to find a step by step guide on personal safety, support services and money matters.

It is important to note that the results of this assessment are only suggestions based on your responses and should not be taken as conclusive. If you believe you are experiencing coercive control it is important to trust your instincts and continue to seek help.

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to speak with a trained counsellor or visit Yourtoolkit.com to find a step by step guide.

If the assessment reveals behaviours that suggest the presence of coercive control, please proceed with caution. It is important to know this situation isn’t your fault.

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to speak with a trained counsellor or visit Yourtoolkit.com to find a step by step guide. We encourage you to access our step by step guide to start the journey to safety, whether you decide to leave the relationship or not.

If you have taken the assessment on behalf of someone else, you may wish to start a conversation. Read “How to support someone experiencing domestic abuse“.

Yes. No one taking the assessment is ever identified at any stage and answers are completely anonymous. We collect the anonymous data to help us understand the types of coercive control behaviours abusers are using. This will help Yourtoolkit.com and other services to provide the support and assistance that victims of coercive control need.

The self-assessment tool developed by Yourtoolkit.com has been adapted from several credible evidence-based sources including:

  1. The Checklist of Controlling Behaviors (CCB), an 84-item domestic violence assessment instrument that identifies several levels of coercive control. Originally derived from clinical observation and current theories, the checklist has been validated by Lehmann, Simmons and Pillai (2012) with a sample of 2,135 female volunteers taking refuge at a domestic violence shelter in the USA. The checklist has 10 sub-scales, of which all 10 sub-scales have been used in this self-assessment tool. CITATION: Lehmann, P., Simmons, C.A., & Pillai, V.K. (2012). The validation of the Checklist of Controlling Behaviors (CCB): Assessing coercive control in abusive relationships. Violence Against Women, 18(8), pp. 913-933. Available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801212456522 
  2. The work of Evan Stark (2007, 2024), which has been pivotal in the development of the theory of coercive control. Stark’s work has been cited extensively in academic work in Australia and New Zealand. CITATION: Stark, E. (2007, 2024). Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life. Oxford University Press. Available at ISBN: 9780197639986.
  3. The Duluth Power and Control Wheel at https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PowerandControl.pdf. The Wheel characterises the pattern of actions an abuser uses to intentionally control or dominate their partner. The Wheel was originally developed in 1984 by Pence and Paymar in the Domestic Abuser Intervention Program (DAIP), which formed part of the ‘Duluth Model’, a practice that focused on educating men who committed domestic violence and their female victims. The Power and Control Wheel was developed from focus groups with female victim-survivors who provided examples of the most common tactics of abusive partners, including the use of children to perpetrate abuse. The Wheel has been updated several times since 1984 and is still widely used today because it helps women recognise certain tactics of control that they aren’t aware of or recognise as abuse.

The self-assessment tool adheres to the National Risk Assessment Principles for domestic and family violence developed by ANROWS (2018) – Principle 1: Survivor’s safety is the core priority of all risk assessment frameworks and tools. However,  we must caution that this self-assessment tool does not constitute a formal or comprehensive risk assessment appraisal.

In adhering to the National Risk Assessment Principles, we have been guided in the development of this tool by several key understandings, including that family and domestic violence in Australia is gendered in nature (the cohort of victim-survivors consists primarily and overwhelmingly of women), and that children are also survivors of abuse. The language used in the self-assessment tool reflects this reality. Based on your responses the results are designed to show you the coercive control behaviours you may be at risk of being exposed to, and provide resources and information to help you manage your situation.

This self-assessment tool is informed by, and aligned with, the National Principles to Address Coercive Control in Family and Domestic Violence (2023). The National Principles set out a shared understanding about the common features and impacts of coercive control. 

The National Principles are aligned with, and informed by, the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-32.

The National Principles provide a foundation to build wider awareness of coercive control within the community. In adhering to the National Principles, this self-assessment tool aligns closely with our goal of helping victim survivors, and those that support them, to recognise and understand their own experiences of coercive control. 

We are committed to helping victim survivors to appropriately identify and address coercive control, and for the broader community of people that supports them to hold perpetrators to account, without compromising victim survivors’ safety.

To send this self-assessment tool to someone else, copy the following link:

yourtoolkit.com/ccsa/

To cite this self-assessment tool, use the following:

Yourtoolkit.com (2023). Coercive control self-assessment tool. yourtoolkit.com/ccsa/

Copyright

Yourtoolkit.com owns the copyright in all material developed and presented in relation to this self-assessment tool, including the scales, measures, results, landing, resource and support pages.

We encourage the sharing of this self-assessment tool and its ancillary information. However, any commercial or structured re-use, adaption or hosting of this self-assessment tool in any way or by any means requires our express written approval.

Links to other websites are inserted in this self-assessment tool for convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.

Copyright © 2023 Yourtoolkit.com

Your Results

Below is a graph that identifies the behaviours of coercive control you may be experiencing based on your responses. The green line reflects healthy relationship behaviours.