COTA SA welcomed the opportunity to provide a submission to the Criminal Law Consolidation (Coercive Control) Amendment Bill 2023.
COTA SA acknowledges the impact of coercive control on all people who experience it and supports in principle the Amendment Bill.
We would like to see this legislation go further, however, to strengthen the rights and safety of older South Australians. We raise a number issues for consideration.
- We are concerned that the Amendment Bill only covers current or former spouses, domestic partners or intimate partners, and excludes other perpetrators such as family members.
- COTA SA welcomes the extensive community consultation that informed the Amendment Bill. We are disappointed, however, that there was no targeted consultation with older people and organisations that work with older people.
- With coercive control an often hidden and somewhat subjective behaviour, COTA SA considers the evidence that will need to be gathered to identify and support criminal charges against a perpetrator. We encourage these considerations in the operationalisation of the law, if passed.
- COTA SA supports the See the Signs campaign and encourages ongoing awareness building around coercive control across multiple channels, including non-digital channels. For the reasons cited above, COTA SA supports a campaign that highlights the situations in which coercive control is experienced, including in the lives of older people.
Read the full submission for more detail.