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.
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.
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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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To cite this self-assessment tool, use the following:
Yourtoolkit.com (2023). Coercive control self-assessment tool. yourtoolkit.com/ccsa/
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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.