Criminalising coercive and controlling behaviours

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Have your say on proposed domestic violence laws.

What's being decided?

We are proposing a draft Criminal Law Consolidation (Abusive Behaviour) Amendment Bill 2021 to strengthen domestic violence laws by criminalising coercive and controlling behaviour against current or former intimate partners.

This would create new criminal offences with maximum penalties of between 2 and 7 years.

To ensure the draft Bill meets community expectations and delivers better protections for all South Australians, share your views on the proposed legislation.

The legal sector, non-government sector and victims of domestic violence are encouraged to share their views.

Background

A new offence is proposed to criminalise abusive behaviours in intimate partner relationships. This will address a key aspect of domestic abuse that is often difficult to fit within existing criminal offences.

Sustained and repeated abusive behaviour is an insidious form of domestic violence which is used to subordinate the victim’s will to that of the offender. For this reason it is often referred to as ‘coercive control’. Although it may involve some physical abuse, other tactics involve emotional and psychological abuse which destabilise the victim’s sense of identity and autonomy, making them easier to control.

Refer to the frequently asked questions for the definitions of the offence, the proposed penalties and the impact of the proposed legislation.

Get involved

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What are the next steps?

Feedback will be considered and the draft Bill will then be subject to Cabinet approval. The Bill may then be introduced into Parliament this year.

Further consultation will take place in relation to education, training and implementation in a staged and gradual manner.

Have your say on proposed domestic violence laws.

What's being decided?

We are proposing a draft Criminal Law Consolidation (Abusive Behaviour) Amendment Bill 2021 to strengthen domestic violence laws by criminalising coercive and controlling behaviour against current or former intimate partners.

This would create new criminal offences with maximum penalties of between 2 and 7 years.

To ensure the draft Bill meets community expectations and delivers better protections for all South Australians, share your views on the proposed legislation.

The legal sector, non-government sector and victims of domestic violence are encouraged to share their views.

Background

A new offence is proposed to criminalise abusive behaviours in intimate partner relationships. This will address a key aspect of domestic abuse that is often difficult to fit within existing criminal offences.

Sustained and repeated abusive behaviour is an insidious form of domestic violence which is used to subordinate the victim’s will to that of the offender. For this reason it is often referred to as ‘coercive control’. Although it may involve some physical abuse, other tactics involve emotional and psychological abuse which destabilise the victim’s sense of identity and autonomy, making them easier to control.

Refer to the frequently asked questions for the definitions of the offence, the proposed penalties and the impact of the proposed legislation.

Get involved

Find out more by:

Have your say by:

What are the next steps?

Feedback will be considered and the draft Bill will then be subject to Cabinet approval. The Bill may then be introduced into Parliament this year.

Further consultation will take place in relation to education, training and implementation in a staged and gradual manner.

Page last updated: 16 September 2021, 11:29