The first Meeting of Attorneys-General under the Albanese Government has agreed on collective action to address family, domestic, and sexual violence.
The Meeting endorsed a Consultation Draft of National Principles to Address Coercive Control – the pattern of abusive behaviour designed to create power and dominance over another person or persons.
These principles – the first of their kind – represent a significant step toward a shared national understanding of coercive control. This shared understanding is vital for greater community awareness and will be an important tool in improving the safety of women and children.
The Draft National Principles will be released for public consultation shortly and information on the consultation process will be available on the Attorney‑General’s Department website.
The Meeting also endorsed the five-year Work Plan to Strengthen Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault.
The plan follows a presentation by former Australian of the Year Grace Tame to last year ‘s Meeting of Attorneys-General, urging states and territories to work together to improve the experiences of victim-survivors in the criminal justice system and harmonise and better define laws around sexual assault.
The Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Institute of Criminology will review the definitions of consent, as well as broader definitions relating to sexual assault and child sexual abuse. This will include legislation with respect to consent and stealthing, which has been the subject of recent calls for reform from advocates.
The Work Plan will be available shortly on the Attorney-General ‘s Department website.
Attorneys-General also discussed progress towards model defamation reform, issues of youth justice, and Indigenous justice reform.
I am delighted with the outcome of this first meeting with my state, territory and New Zealand counterparts, and I thank them for their willingness to work together on issues of collective importance. I look forward to meeting more regularly.
The communique of the meeting is available on the Attorney-General’s Department website.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au