THE VERDICT IS IN – LEGISLATING TO CRIMINALLY RECOGNISE COERCIVE CONTROL NEEDED IN NSW

by Anna Watson

Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson MP, has today welcomed a report tabled by the Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control that has recommended legislating to criminally recognise coercive control in this term of Parliament.

The report on coercive control in domestic relationships was tabled by the Joint Select Committee today and in brief the recommendation is as follows:

‘Our strongly help unanimous Committee view is that implementation of a change to the lens through which we view domestic abuse, by legislating to criminally recognise coercive control as other jurisdictions do, is needed in this term of Parliament, but could only be undertaken with an extensive implementation process, which includes consultation, education, resources and lead-time, if it is to succeed’.

In March 2020, Ms Watson introduced the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Coercive Control - Preethi’s Law) Bill 2020 in Parliament. It was subsequently voted down in a vote of 46 to 38 on 18 March 2021.

Ms Watson said “If you followed the passage of my coercive control bill in the NSW Parliament, you would know that the proposals of the committee are not dissimilar to those I had proposed in my bill.”

“My bill was defeated by the same government that will now ultimately be asked, by their own committee, to commit to the very same thing my bill proposed.”

“It has been over two exhausting years that I have taken this issue to the NSW Government only to be turned away at every approach. It will be interesting to see how this recommendation is dealt with, moving forward”

“The findings of the Joint Select Committee are forward thinking, and should get bipartisan support”

“This isn’t the sort of reform that can happen overnight, criminalising coercive control is the kind of reform that, done right, could lead to generational change in how we as a society conceptualise domestic violence. The government must now follow through on this recommendation” said Ms Watson.