Queensland Passes Historic Stealthing and Consent Laws

Queensland Passes Historic Stealthing and Consent Laws

Queensland Parliament have this week passed legislation addressing stealthing, coercive control, consent and access to abortion.

These acts will now come with penalties of up to life imprisonment for those found guilty.

The new laws are expected to come into effect next year.

Stealthing will now carry a life sentence

One of the key pieces of legislation addressed this week is stealthing, the act of removing a condom without the knowledge of the other party.

The passing of this legislation now criminalises the act, which is officially classified as rape.

Stealthing will now carry a jail term of up to life in imprisonment.

In a post on social media Queensland Premier Steven Miles announced “Queensland will recognise stealthing as rape. Because it is.”

Queensland is one of the last states to implement this legislation with New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory already having made it illegal.

“Coercive control might be subtle but it is insidious and it does cost lives.”

One of the most emotional debates during the passing of the legislation was the new laws on coercive control.

Coercive control is a pattern of controlling behaviour that often focuses on isolation and manipulation within a relationship.

This behaviour can take many forms including verbal abuse, financial control, emotional abuse and isolating the other party from their friends and family.

Premier Steven Miles was passionate about the implementation of the legislation, stating “Coercive control might be subtle but it is insidious and it does cost lives.”

During the debate many MP’s detailed their own personals stories of those in their lives and others who had been effected by these damaging relationships.

One of these people was Labor MP Jonty Bush who spoke of her own sisters experience and passionately backed the laws.

“This bill — against a backdrop of many years of advocacy by the community, by victims, by survivors and by groups, and the education and reform piece that has gone into this — will capture that pattern of behaviour that is, by definition, coercive control and it will recognise that as a crime in and of itself” she said to parliament.

Coercive control will now carry a jail sentence of up to fourteen years.

Consent Laws and access to abortion

Other legislation passed this week include updated consent laws and easier access to abortion.

Updated laws regarding consent now stipulate that consent must be a “free and voluntary” agreement.

Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman supported the legislation changes.

“The model of affirmative consent in the bill requires that a person says or does something to ascertain consent, which can include a non-verbal cue,” she said.

The new laws will form an affirmative consent model for Queensland, similar to that of Victoria and New South Wales.

One of the most heated debates over changes to legislation followed later this week.

Having already decriminalised abortion in Queensland, the Labor party also passed further laws to allow easier access to abortions, particularly for those in regional areas.

The new laws will allow midwives and nurses to administer the pregnancy termination medication MS-2 Step, which is usually prescribed by doctors.

The LNP in Queensland strongly opposed the legislation, with many female MP’s making a passionate stand against the legislation change.

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