Australia’s Queensland passes legislation to criminalise coercive control

Insight Online News

Sydney, March 6 : New laws were passed on Wednesday in the Australian state of Queensland to criminalise coercive control, which would better protect victims of domestic, family and sexual violence.

The Criminal Law (Coercive Control and Affirmative Consent) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced in October 2023 before passing in the Queensland Parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.

Once commenced, the new standalone offence of coercive control would carry a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

As a pattern of abusive behaviours over time, coercive control can include emotional, psychological, and economic abuse, as well as isolation, intimidation, sexual coercion and cyberstalking.

“What we know is that coercive control is the most common factor that leads to domestic violence murders. We have made strides to help people identify and report coercive control and we know by criminalising this offence, even more lives will be saved,” said Premier of Queensland Steven Miles.

According to the most recent findings from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in every five Australians aged 18 years and above has experienced violence, emotional abuse, or economic abuse by a partner since the age of 15.

Tasmania became the first Australian jurisdiction to outlaw economic and emotional abuse when it passed the Family Violence Act in 2004.

The country’s most populous state New South Wales took another step forward by creating a stand-alone offence of coercive control after Parliament passed legislation in November 2022.

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