The State Government intends to consult on, develop and introduce legislation to criminalise coercive control.

What is coercive control?

Coercive control is an underreported type of domestic violence where an abuser seeks to control a victim's behaviour.

It can include:

  • attempting to isolate someone from their friends and family
  • controlling their finances
  • monitoring what they say, what they wear and even what they eat or when they sleep.

Coercive control is not currently a standalone offence in South Australia.

Criminalising coercive control

This Government is committed to criminalising coercive control, and to building on the important discussions that have already started with the sector and the broader community. It is important that we get this right.

The Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Human Services (through the Office for Women) will lead upcoming consultation on the creation of a standalone offence of coercive control, to ensure sector and community voices are heard.

Previous consultation

The Discussion paper - Implementation considerations should coercive control be introduced in South Australia  (PDF, 1.1 MB) was released for public consultation on 2 February 2022 to obtain feedback on the themes of awareness raising, education and training, services for victim-survivors and responses to perpetrators.

The consultation period closed 1 April 2022.

The Attorney-General's Department received 22 submissions from a broad range of agencies and organisations, including:

  • general support services for victim-survivors and perpetrators
  • legal assistance services
  • advocacy groups
  • an academic
  • interested individuals.

Find out more:

During September and October 2021, consultation on a proposed South Australian offence of coercive control was conducted.

There were 173 respondents to a public survey and more detailed submissions received from 31 individuals and organisations.

The feedback noted the importance of the implementation process with suggestions including:

  • training for enforcement agencies to identify, charge and prosecute coercive control
  • a public awareness campaign
  • wrap-around support services for victims
  • a focus on regional and remote victims, Aboriginal communities and migrant communities.

Additional background information about the 2021 community consultation can be found on YourSAy.