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MPs pass coercive control bill to criminalize intimate partner threats

B.C. MP championing legislation that moves to the Senate for review before possibly becoming law
NDP MP for Victoria Laurel Collins makes her way to the podium to speak about a youth corps during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

An NDP private member’s bill that would criminalize a pattern of abuse known as coercive control is heading to the Senate.

The legislation from Victoria MP Laurel Collins passed third reading unanimously in the House of Commons today.

The bill would amend the Criminal Code to criminalize coercive control, which experts say abusers often use to isolate and instil fear into victims of intimate partner violence.

It defines coercive control as behaviour that includes threatening to use violence against a partner or their child or pet, as well as trying to control their finances and movement.

When introducing the bill last fall, Collins shared some of her sister’s story, saying her partner had taken away her bank cards and keys to try and stop her from leaving.

Since then the MP says she’s heard from hundreds of others who have shared their own experience with coercive control or that of someone they love.

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READ ALSO: Victoria MP pushing to criminalize abusive practice of coercive control