Laws overhauled to protect women from domestic violence

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will introduce coercive control laws as part of a $363m package of reforms to better protect Queensland women from domestic and family violence and hold perpetrators to account.

  • New laws and programs will also include:
  • A Commission of Inquiry into police practices
  • Expansion of the Domestic and Family Violence courts
  • Better support for women
  • A special strategy for First Nations communities
  • Funding for perpetrator programs to change men’s behaviour and stop the cycle of violence
  • Expansion of High-Risk Teams and co-responder models to ensure victims receive a joint response from police and DFV services
  • Increased respectful relationships education to all Queensland children and young people

The package follows Justice Margaret McMurdo’s Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s report, Hear Her Voice, handed down in December.

“The Taskforce received more than 700 submissions from women and girls with lived experience of domestic and family violence,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“In addition, women have literally taken to the streets to say ‘enough is enough’.

Before the end of 2023, a bill will be introduced to criminalise coercive control.

Coercive control is the most common factor leading up to intimate partner homicide.

Its tragic outcome was most recently seen in the murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children.

It includes isolating a partner from family and friends, monitoring their movements, controlling access to money and psychological and emotional manipulation.

The package of reforms to address this problem includes a community education campaign to recognise it, the expansion of respectful relationship courses and further training for police.

It also includes $106 million to improve safety for victims attending court.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Woman and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said this is a key recommendation of the Taskforce.

“Our systems need to respond better to this unique form of violence and we need to shift our focus from responding to single incidents of violence to the pattern of abusive behaviour that occurs over time,” the Attorney said.

Commission of Inquiry

The Taskforce also made it clear that while police save the lives of women and children escaping domestic and family violence every day, many survivors had not received an adequate response.

A four-month Commission of Inquiry will hear the testimony of victims and make recommendations to improve their treatment.

The Attorney-General said, in addition, the Queensland Police Service would trial a collaborative co-response model involving police and specialist DFV services working together in a number of locations.

The Taskforce has already made 89 recommendations, 84 of which were for the government. It has accepted all 84. The remaining five were for the Queensland Law Society and the Bar Association of Queensland.

The final Taskforce report is due by the end of June. For more information about the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, visit