Parliamentary Committee reports on coercive control reform

30 Jun 2021

I thank every frontline service, peak body, expert, academic and those in the criminal justice system who contributed to this eight-month inquiry, and the subsequent report tabled in NSW Parliament today.

I commend especially the courage of the victim-survivors who have contributed as part of this process. Sharing your personal experiences of abuse for the benefit of the inquiry was incredibly brave, and added undisputedly powerful testimony to this important discussion.

Coercive control is a term used to describe domestic abuse that involves repeated patterns of behaviour – which can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse –the cumulative effect of which robs victim-survivors of their autonomy and independence.

Exploring, in detail, how this serious abuse can impact individuals, families and communities, in often devastating ways, was no small or simple task.

The testimony heard by this inquiry illustrates that reasonable minds differ on the best way to respond to this abhorrent behaviour. Nevertheless, it is clear we must continue to do all we can to improve how the justice system responds to domestic and family violence.

The NSW Government will consider the findings and recommendations of this substantial body of work, with the care and diligence it deserves.

I acknowledge the outstanding leadership of Committee Chair Natalie Ward, and her fellow multi-party committee members for the respectful way this inquiry has been conducted.

I moved to establish this inquiry in October last year with an open mind as to the ways in which government, and the community, could improve our response to domestic violence.

I said at the outset that any legislative reform must be approached with great care and caution, because there are no easy answers. Any response must ensure it does not have the unintended consequence of further hurting those in our community we are seeking to help.

More than 150 submissions were presented to the Joint Select Committee as part of the inquiry process, which preceded five days of hearings. The report will be available on the committee’s webpage, here.

For confidential support and referrals, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), the NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63) or the Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491).

Download media release: Parliamentary Committee reports on coercive control reform (PDF , 168.3 KB)

Last updated:

13 Apr 2023

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