On February 16, 2021, LEAF Executive Director & General Counsel (Acting) Megan Stephens appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. She provided a submission to the Committee’s Study on Controlling or Coercive Conduct within Intimate Relationships.

The submission noted that intimate partner violence (IPV) remains a widespread problem. Coercive control lies at the core of IPV. It involves a course of intimidating, degrading and regulatory practices used by abusers to instill fear and threat into the everyday lives of their victims.

The submission emphasized the need for the Committee to proceed carefully in its work. It would be important to think through the potential unintended consequences of criminalization. There would also be operational, policing, and prosecutorial challenges associated with criminalizing coercive control.

You can read and download the submission below, or watch a recording of the full hearing here.