26 September 2023

Comments invited on domestic violence laws

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South Australians are being called on to help shape laws criminalising certain types of domestic violence.

Leading the call, Attorney-General and Minister for Planning and Local Government, Josh Teague said this Department was seeking feedback through a Discussion Paper on how the potential laws would criminalise controlling and abusive behaviours.

“Coercive control can erode a victim’s confidence, cause long-term harm and is often a precursor to murder,” Mr Teague said.

“It occurs when an abuser seeks to control someone’s behaviour by attempting to isolate them from friends and family, controlling their finances or attempting to control how they behave,” he said.

Mr Teague said the discussion paper Implementation considerations should coercive control be criminalised in South Australia would also ascertain the best ways to raise awareness about the insidious form of domestic abuse.

“We know from listening to advocacy groups and the community that there is a real need for these laws in South Australia, but we also know that, if such laws pass the Parliament, how they are implemented will be crucial,” he said.

“I commend the Attorney-General’s Department for consulting with the community on this important topic.

“Education and prevention are just as important as the introduction of new laws.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence, Carolyn Power, said: “Victim-survivors have told us more needs to be done to stop abusive, controlling behaviours in relationships that destroy lives and can lead to murder, but up until recently, have gone unchallenged in our society.”

“As a community, we must do more,” Ms Power said.

The 16-page Discussion Paper can be accessed at this PS News link, with submissions open until 1 April.

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