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Qld introduces coercive control legislation

The first set of legislative amendments aimed at strengthening Queensland’s ability to resist coercive control has been introduced into the state’s Parliament.

user iconKeonia Swift 17 October 2022 The Bar
Qld introduces coercive control legislation
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Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence and Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has announced that the state has taken a major step towards combating non-physical forms of domestic violence.

“These important reforms lay the foundation for the passage of a standalone offence of coercive control next year.

“This bill makes a number of amendments to further shift our approach to domestic and family violence to focus on the dangerous patterns of abusive behaviour which over time,” Ms Fentiman said.


The news follows last week’s report that NSW has introduced similar legislation.

Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combating Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 will tighten laws to address the systematic nature of coercive control and limit abusers’ capacity to further traumatise victims during the legal process.

The bill proposes amendments to relevant legislation to:

  • Modernise and strengthen the definition of stalking in the Criminal Code;
  • Broaden the definition of domestic and family violence to refer to a “pattern of behaviour”;
  • Strengthen the court’s response to cross-application for protection orders, to ensure the person most at risk is being protected;
  • Strengthen the court’s consideration of previous domestic violence history.
In response to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s first report, Hear Her Voice, the bill addresses several of the important recommendations made in that study.

The Palaszczuk government has already launched a $363 million reform package to support this vital effort.

“The taskforce stated very clearly that system-wide reform was needed before any new coercive control offence came into effect,” Ms Fentiman said.

Highlighting how these laws pave the way for the introduction of a bill, Attorney-General Fentiman commented that it is to establish a criminal offence of coercive control before the end of 2023.

Reforms proposed by the taskforce will be incorporated into the bill, and the Criminal Code will be updated to reflect current understandings of sexual offences.

To date, it renames the crime from “maintaining a sexual relationship with a minor” to “repeated sexual behaviour with a child” and substitutes the term “carnal knowledge“ with “sexual conduct”.

The domestic, family, and sexual violence communities, as well as the legal community, were consulted extensively in the design of these changes.