Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that an independent Coercive Control Taskforce will be formed by the Government in order to investigate the possibility of making coercive control a crime, meaning criminal convictions and penalties would apply. The Premier has indicated that the taskforce would be chaired by Justice Margaret McMurdo, a former president of the Queensland Court of Appeal and head of the Lawyer X royal commission. The compilation of the taskforce is due to be completed by next month and will report back to the government in October.
The decision comes one year after Brisbane mum Hannah Clarke and her three children were murdered by her estranged husband. Hannah’s family have been calling for coercive control to be made a crime to prevent future families facing the tragedy they have endured.
Coercive control is a form of non-physical violence that can be a precursor to physical violence in murder according to experts. It can be behaviour such as controlling who someone sees, limiting access to money, tracking someone’s location, and controlling what someone wears.
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