Criminalising coercive control in NSW

About coercive control

‘Coercive control’ is a form of domestic abuse that involve patterns of behaviour which have the cumulative effect of denying victim-survivors their autonomy and independence.  This abuse can include physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse.

NSW Government actions on coercive control

Proposed new laws to outlaw coercive control in intimate partner relationships

The NSW Government has drafted a bill to criminalise coercive control in intimate partner relationships and further strengthen criminal justice system responses to abuse.

This follows the NSW Government’s commitments in December 2021 to criminalise coercive control in intimate partner relationships and release a public exposure draft bill for consultation on these amendments. 

Public consultation is currently open on the draft bill. You can read the Draft Bill (PDF , 266.2 KB) and the Fact Sheet on the Draft Bill (PDF , 183.9 KB) and submit your response at the Have Your Say website.

These commitments were part of the NSW Government’s response to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control

The NSW Government has consistently said that any legislative reform must be approached with great care and caution to ensure it does not unintentionally put in further danger those in our community we are seeking to help. Great care and caution must also be taken to ensure the offence is calibrated appropriately to capture only conduct of the very serious standard deserving of criminal sanction, avoiding over-reach.

Other Government actions

Beyond legislation, the NSW Government’s response to domestic and family violence already includes significant investments across housing, crisis accommodation, counselling, case management, court advocacy, policing, education and health.

As part of the 2022-23 Budget, the NSW Government announced in June 2022 that more women and children experiencing domestic and family violence will be supported by $69.6 million in new funding, building on the NSW Government’s landmark $484.3 million investment in housing and related support services as part of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

The 2022-23 Budget also included an initial down-payment of $0.7 million over two years to support the Government’s legislative commitment to outlaw coercive control in current and former intimate partner relationships.

Background

In December 2021, the NSW Government committed to supporting, in full, in part or in principle, 17 of the 23 unanimous recommendations by the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control.

This included consulting on and introducing a stand-alone offence to address coercive control in intimate partner relationships as well as possible amendments to other existing laws.

Read the NSW Government's response to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee.

Support services

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, call the Police on Triple Zero (000).

For confidential advice, support and referrals, contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Last updated:

25 Jul 2022

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