A push to criminalise coercive control is gaining traction as federal, state and territory attorneys-general work out a common approach to combat it.
Federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said it was up to individual jurisdictions to make decisions about criminalisation.
But before that happened, a national understanding of and approach to coercive control was needed.
"This will make it clear that this type of behaviour is unacceptable across all of Australia," Senator Cash said.
State and territory attorneys-general have agreed on the terms of reference for a program looking at the form a new offence might take, notwithstanding differences between jurisdictions.
The consequences of criminalisation, including concerns it could make things worse for Indigenous women, will also be considered.
Coercive control involves a pattern of behaviour - involving psychological, emotional, financial, physical, or sexual abuse - that robs people of their autonomy and independence.
A NSW parliamentary committee last month recommended a new offence be created to outlaw coercive control.
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Lifeline 13 11 14