Have your say on criminalising coercive control in SA

Have your say on criminalising coercive control in SA


Moves to outlaw an insidious and often hard to detect form of domestic violence have taken a major step forward, with the State Government seeking the community’s feedback on laws aimed at criminalising coercive control. Coercive control is when a perpetrator intentionally tries to control their victim, or make them behave in a certain way through fear, intimidation and manipulation – impairing their freedom to make their own choices and act on their own preferences and best interests.

Today, the Government released a draft Bill for public comment. The draft Bill involves the creation of a new criminal offence of coercive control, capturing a broad range of behaviours experienced by victims in abusive intimate partner relationships. Under the proposed reforms, the law would focus on a perpetrator’s intent to control rather than specific acts of abuse - criminalising a pattern of behaviour that has a serious controlling impact on a partner, that was intended to control them or to cause them apprehension or fear. The offence does not necessarily need to involve violent behaviour.

The Bill has been drafted with input from a range of community groups and sector representatives, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community leaders
  • Embolden Voices for Change Lived Experience Group
  • Young people and organisations that work with young people
  • LGBTIQA+ community members and organisations
  • Disability sector community members and organisations.

The Government is now seeking feedback from the South Australian community on the Bill and will also be holding public information sessions.

For more information and to provide your feedback, visit the YourSAy website.

Page last updated 29 August 2023