Coercive Control Becomes Criminal Offence In QLD Under New Legislation

The Palaszczuk government have introduced a new legislation which makes coercive control a criminal offence. 

The new legislation, which was introduced to parliament in 2023, follows recommendations from the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce. 

The changes will see coercive control added to the Criminal Code and will be punishable by a maximum of 14 years in prison. 

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Coercive control includes behaviour where a person in a domestic relationship “engages in a course of conduct against the other person that consists of domestic violence occurring on more than one occasion”, “intends the course of conduct to coerce or control the other person” and “the course of conduct would, in all the circumstances, be reasonably likely to cause the other person harm”.

According to the legislation, “‘harm’ defined in the Bill to mean any detrimental effect on the person’s physical, emotional, financial, psychological or mental wellbeing, whether temporary or permanent”. 

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The new landmark legislation will provide further protection to abuse survivors. 

The changes were introduced following significant consultation with key stakeholders which includes the domestic and family violence sector. 

Attorney-General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath said the new legislation will clearly define that “coercive control is domestic and family violence”. 

It is abuse perpetrated on a victim designed to harm, punish or frighten their victim,” she said.

“Coercive control is serious, it has serious impacts on the victim and their families and a new, stand-alone offence reflects that non-physical violence is just as dangerous as physical violence.”

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