Grace Tame, Hannah Clarke’s family applaud Queensland bill to broaden domestic violence definition to include coercive control
Significant changes to domestic violence laws in Queensland will be introduced into state parliament today to pave the way for coercive control to be made a crime.
- The bill aims to broaden and update the definition of domestic and family violence
- Its changes have been applauded by the family of Hannah Clarke
- This move was a recommendation of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce
The bill proposes the definition of domestic and family violence be broadened to include a “pattern of behaviour”, and that the definition of stalking be updated to reflect modern technology.
Queensland will also move to amend the criminal code to replace the term “carnal knowledge” with “penile intercourse” and change the offence of “maintaining a sexual relationship with a child” to “repeated sexual conduct with a child”.
Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the suite of reforms would lay the groundwork for new laws to be introduced next year to criminalise coercive control.
“The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, headed by [retired judge] Margaret McMurdo was very clear that we couldn’t just introduce a criminal offence straight away because it would have many unintended consequences,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We have to do the work in the community so people understand more about coercive control. We have to do the training with first responders and DV services, and our courts.
“So it’s important that we strengthen the law right now to send that very clear message that coercive control and non-physical forms of violence are domestic violence and then we will have a standalone criminal offence which will have significant penalties.”
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