In a historic and groundbreaking move, on 10 May 2022 Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a suite of Queensland reforms addressing domestic and family violence.
In a joint statement, The Queensland Premier and the Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman, provided an overview of the updates including:
- “New laws and programs to recognise, prevent and punish coercive control including making coercive control a criminal offence
- A Commission of Inquiry into police practices
- Expansion of the Domestic and Family Violence courts
- Better support for women
- A special strategy for First Nations communities
- Funding for perpetrator programs to change men’s behaviour and stop the cycle of violence
- Expansion of High-Risk Teams and co-responder models to ensure victims receive a joint response from police and DFV services.
- Increased respectful relationships education to all Queensland children and young people”.
These recommendations have been taken from a report headed by Former Justice Margert McMurdo’s Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.
To read more about the report, Visit Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce website.
The announcement of coercive control legislation indicates the Queensland government’s pioneering move to criminalise this type of behaviour.
Criminalising Coercive Control – Bill to be introduced End of 2023
Coercive control is the continuous pattern of manipulative and controlling behaviour, which often results in the victim becoming isolated and dependent on their perpetrator.
Following the murder of Hannah Clarke and her children in 2020, Advocates have fiercely fought to introduce legislation to make coercive control a criminal office.
There has been considerable debate about the criminalization of this offence.
Opponents have argued that proving this offence is too onerous, whilst supporters have maintained that it provides another layer of protection and holds perpetrators to account. To read more about this, visit The Ongoing Fight Against Domestic Violence.
As the methods and forms of violence have changed, the Attorney General noted the need to “shift our focus from responding to single incidents of violence to the pattern of abusive behaviour that occurs over time”. (1)
Although proponents and advocates both present valid arguments, the introduction of this legislation will provide an updated response to a complicated and widespread social issue.
How can we help you?
If you are experiencing domestic or family violence, there is a safe pathway to obtain legal protection and a number of support services that are available to assist you and your family.
Our Lawyers can assist you. For more information Contact us on (07) 3252 0011.
Other Support Services
You can call or visit 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au to seek assistance about family and domestic violence.
The Men’s Referral Service provides advice for men on domestic violence and can be contacted on 1300 766 491.