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Is Coercive Control Going To Become A Criminal Offence In Queensland?

Coercive control is a form of domestic violence in which a perpetrator uses behaviours that dominate and control their victim. Some common examples of coercive control are isolating a person from their family and friends, monitoring a person’s time, movements and communication, repeatedly putting someone down and other acts that intimidate or restrict a person.  […]

Is Coercive Control Going To Become A Criminal Offence In Queensland?

Is Coercive Control Going To Become A Criminal Offence In Queensland?

By aylwardgame - Dec 6, 2021 Domestic Violence

Coercive control is a form of domestic violence in which a perpetrator uses behaviours that dominate and control their victim. Some common examples of coercive control are isolating a person from their family and friends, monitoring a person’s time, movements and communication, repeatedly putting someone down and other acts that intimidate or restrict a person. 

In Queensland, coercive control is not currently captured in the Criminal Code and therefore the victims of this behaviour are not protected. There has been increasing pressure on the Queensland Government to criminalise this behaviour which has resulted in the Queensland Government now taking steps to do so. This does however raise complex questions of how the laws should be defined and particularly how to enforce any legislation that is contemplated to criminalise coercive control if it is made an offence.

Recommendations have been made to the Government that Queensland take a staged approach to criminalising coercive control. This includes ensuring that first responders are adequately trained to identify the behaviour itself and respond appropriately to the reports of the behaviour. The Attorney General has stated that they will carefully consider the recommendations. It is expected that the Government will provide a response to these recommendations early next year. 

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Although these proposed changes relate to criminal matters, coercive controls can impact family members during a relationship and after a relationship has ended. Therefore the introduction of legislation whereby coercive control is criminalised will have a significant impact on families and their family law matters.

If you require any assistance in your family law property or parenting matters, or if you need assistance in relation to an application for a domestic violence order, please contact our family law team on 1800 217 217