New Coercive Control Laws in NSW as of 1 July 2024

May 20, 2024 | Publication

From 1 July 2024, coercive control will be a crime in NSW when a person uses abusive behaviours towards a current or former intimate partner with the intention to coerce or control them.

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Act 2022makes it an offence for an adult to engage in a course of conduct against another person that consists of abusive behaviour.  The adult and the other person must be or have been intimate partners.  The adult must intend that the course of conduct coerce or control the other person and a reasonable person would be likely, in all the circumstances, to cause any or all of the following, whether or not the fear or impact caused fear that violence will be used against the other person or another person, or a serious adverse impact on the capacity of the other person to engage in some or all of the person’s ordinary day-to-day activities.

There is a maximum penalty of 7 years.

It is a defence to a charge of abuse behaviour if the course of conduct was reasonable in all the circumstances.

Abusive behaviour means behaviour that consists of or involves violence or threats against, or intimidation of, a person, or coercion or control of the person against whom the behaviour is directed.

“Course of conduct” means engaging in behaviour either repeatedly or continuously or both repeatedly and continuously.

The Local Court of NSW is likely to have to deal with significant numbers of cases of this nature going forward.

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