This criminal offence could end up retraumatising victim survivors and criminalising people who are most in need of protection, say RLC's Gayatri Nair.
Gayatri Nair writes for The Guardian
Domestic violence advocates are raising concerns at a New South Wales upper house inquiry into coercive control laws. The state is rushing to add an untested new criminal offence which may not best protect victim survivors.
There is a need for significant cultural and systems reform in the police, judiciary and broader community before rushing in criminal laws as multiple women’s organisations and legal specialists have warned at the NSW upper house parliamentary inquiry.
It is not hyperbole to say that coercive control kills, but the government’s rushed new laws seeking to criminalise coercive control have significant flaws, which risk harming the very people they were designed to protect.
Domestic violence assaults in NSW have increased annually in the past five years and remain critically underreported, especially in marginalised communities including First Nations, migrant and refugee populations. Redfern Legal Centre’s Financial Abuse Service NSW see this every day.
We want the government to listen to the concerns of experts in the field and victim survivors. A considered, phased approach is needed to prevent risk of harm.
We are recruiting for an First Nations lawyer to contribute to our innovative and dynamic policing and generalist practices. This is an identified role for people of First Nations descent who identify and are accepted as such in the community.
We are recruiting for a dynamic person who enjoys working in a client facing role to assist people
experiencing disadvantage to navigate the legal assistance sector, and to train and mentor law
students in client intake. This is an identified role for an First Nations person