Port Stephens residents invited to have their say on Criminalisation of Coercive Control Bill

THE criminalisation of coercive control has taken a significant step in the last week.

Over the week, the NSW Government has taken another step closer to criminalising coercive control, releasing a draft bill for public comment ahead of its introduction to Parliament.

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Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse that involves patterns of behaviour which have the cumulative effect of denying victim-survivors their autonomy and independence.

This abuse can involve physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse.

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, one in ten women have experienced coercive control in the past three months.

With the announcement of this Bill for public comment, residents from Port Stephens will be able to have their comments on coercive control heard before the Bill is introduced to Parliament.

Australia-wide sexual, domestic and family violence support service, Full Stop Australia, have been pushing for this reform for many years on behalf of residents.

Full Stop Australia CEO Hayley Foster says that this reform could serve as a blueprint for other states and territories.

Finally, the law will catch up to our current understanding of domestic and family violence,” Ms Foster said.

“As a result of these reforms women and children in particular will be much safer.”

Coercive control is a significant ‘red flag’ for intimate partner homicide.

The Domestic Violence Death Review Team Report 2017-19 noted that 111 of the 112 intimate partner domestic violence homicides that occurred in NSW between 10 March 2008 and 30 June 2016 that it reviewed, the relationship was characterised by the abuser’s use of coercive and controlling behaviours toward the victim.

“This reform will send a clear message to everyone across all regions, that abusive behaviours will not be tolerated,” Ms Foster said.

Submissions on the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Bill 2022 can be made via the NSW Government’s ‘Have Your Say’ website at https://www.nsw.gov.au/have-your-say.

Consultation closes 31 August 2022.

The NSW Government is well-advanced to introduce a final Bill to Parliament in Spring 2022.


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