The legislation that deals with family and domestic violence in Queensland was recently amended to incorporate coercive control. In this video, special counsel Leeann Murphy talks about the changes and what they could mean for your family law matter.

Video Transcript

Hello. My name is Leeann Murphy. I'm a member of the family law team at Cooper Grace Ward lawyers.

Legislation amended to incorporate coercive control

In February 2023 the legislation that deals with family and domestic violence in Queensland was amended to incorporate coercive control. Coercive control incorporates the idea that a pattern of conduct can be relevant. Coercive control can incorporate one or a series of events. When those events are considered together, the court is able to determine that the conduct is coercive control. Specially, the court will consider whether or not the conduct is threatening, abusive or causes fear. Prior to the amendments, the legislative framework was designed to consider single acts of conduct. The amendments acknowledge research in this area that show that coercive conduct is common among victims of domestic violence.

Features of coercive control

There are many features of coercive control that are now specially referred to in the legislation. The legislation considers behaviour in the context of a relationship as a whole, and the legislation considers behaviour that has the effect of controlling or dominating another person. The amendments also strengthen the criminal offense of unlawful stalking. This may allow concurrent charges to be brought in relation to conduct by a perpetrator in the family setting.

If you need assistance or advice in relation to family or domestic violence, contact us.

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