Western NSW Community Legal Centre has lodged a submission re the NSW Government’s draft bill on coercive control. Together with our specialist domestic violence unit – Western Women’s Legal Support – we support moves to criminalise this harmful form of non-physical abuse.
The Bill follows on from a commitment by the government last year to further strengthen the criminal justice system's response to abuse. To achieve this, however, significant investment in sector-wide consultation is critical to ensure the law’s efficacy.
Critically, for criminalisation to be effective it must be supported by a holistic, systems-wide response to, and sound understanding of, coercive control. It must involve a response that is accompanied by adequate front-line specialist funding and broad re-education. Criminalisation without this investment risks embedding further trauma and disadvantage for victim-survivors.