24/7 family violence
response phone line
1800 015 188

Controlling behaviour is how an abusive person gains and maintains power over someone else. Controlling behaviour usually starts slowly and isn’t always obvious. The abuser may try to justify their actions by saying they are just concerned for the victim or care about them too much. Controlling behaviour tends to become more overt and aggressive over time.

82% of women assessed by safe steps between 2016-17 had experienced controlling behaviours from their partner or perpetrator.

Some examples of controlling behaviour are when someone…

  • Insists on knowing where you are and who you are with all the time, or won’t let you go out without them. If you do, they become angry or sullen
  • Won’t let you see certain people, like extended family or friends, or discourages you from seeing them. This is called ‘isolating’
  • Calls you excessively to see where you are or makes you prove where you are
  • Goes through your text messages or social media to see who you’ve been talking to and what you’ve said
  • Tells you what you can or can’t wear
  • Stalks you or tracks you using any kind of technology

If you are experiencing controlling behaviour, call safe steps

If you are experiencing controlling behaviour from someone close to you, you can call safe steps 24/7 on 1800 015 188 for confidential support, information and assistance.