Qld options for outlawing coercive control

·2-min read

THE 13 OPTIONS FOR CRIMINALISING COERCIVE CONTROL IN QUEENSLAND

1. More effectively enforce domestic and family violence laws, which already define coercive and controlling behaviour.

2. Create a mitigating factor in sentencing if an alleged offender is a victim of coercive control.

3. Broaden the existing definition of domestic violence to include coercive control.

4. Create a new 'cruelty' offence to prosecute coercive and controlling behaviour in domestic violence and other contexts.

5. Amend unlawful stalking laws to include behaviour that controls economic freedom or effectively controls freedom of movement. It could be renamed 'Unlawful intimidation, harassment and abuse'.

6. A standalone coercive control offence in which a person intended the harm or should have reasonably known that their behaviour would be harmful to another person in intimate, family and informal care relationships.

7. A new domestic violence offence within the Domestic and Family Violence Act, however there's concern that could allow perpetrators to escape charges for more serious offences.

8. Making coercive control a floating aggravating circumstance under the Domestic and Family Violence Act.

9. Create a specific coercive control defence for victims who use force, including grievous bodily harm or the infliction of death, against perpetrators.

10. Make it easier for evidence, including expert evidence, to be introduced in criminal proceedings and for jury directions to address stereotypes and misconceptions about domestic violence.

11. Set up a state register of offenders who have been convicted of three or more domestic violence offences or one serious indictable offence, such as rape, grievous bodily harm, arson and attempted murder, which is also a domestic violence offence.

12. Monitor serious domestic violence offenders after conviction and make breaches of monitoring rules an offence.

13. Give courts the power to declare perpetrators as "serial family violence offenders" and subject them to electronic monitoring if they're arrested for future offences and/or if they're released from jail for future offences.

(Source: The Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce)

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