Coercive Control Legislation Events in Southern NSW

Our Domestic and Family Violence teams in Nowra and Bowral recently hosted a Coercive Control Forum with local police, legal services and other local support services to improve the collective understanding of upcoming legislation changes and what it means for frontline services. 

In November 2022, the New South Wales Parliament passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Act 2022, making coercive control a criminal offense in New South Wales from 1 July 2024.  

Coercive control is defined as the abusive behaviour someone uses towards a current or former intimate partner with the intention to coerce or control them. This can include things like: 

  • physical violence 
  • isolating them from family and friends 
  • making threats towards them or things/people they care about 
  • monitoring and stalking 
  • controlling finances 
  • controlling the choices someone might make. 

Coercive control is a very common occurrence in experiences of domestic and family violence. But trying to prove it in a court of law can be a different story.  

YWCA ran coercive control workshops in conjunction with local law firm Wilkinson Legal Resolutions, and they were designed to ensure local services felt equipped to collaborate with each other to support clients and their families around this new legislation. 

“The criminalisation of coercive control has the potential to change the way police charge and prosecute domestic and family violence,” said Jodie Heasman, Coordinator Domestic and Family Violence Programs in Southern NSW 

“However, coercive control isn’t easily understood by everyone – including services – and this has implications for victim survivors when pursuing charges and prosecution.” 

A local service provider who attended the workshop explained that they had no idea what to expect and very little information prior to the day on what these new changes will look like for families. 

“We feel a little better armed with the correct information which will in turn, inform how we aim to work a little more effectively with some of our families”, they shared. 

YWCA will continue to work with other local services as these changes come into effect, to best support our clients as they continue their lives free from violence.  

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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