The Headlines: Queensland’s Coercive Control Laws Are Finally on the Table

Content warning: This article contains references to domestic violence and sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers. 

Hello folks, and welcome to the precipice of the weekend. And what a big week it has been, aye. However, it’s not quite over yet, so here are today’s most important headlines:

Queensland Wants Coercive Control Laws

“Today is an historic day,” said the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk. “We are introducing new laws to protect Queenslanders against non-physical forms of domestic violence.”

“These laws will address the patterned nature of coercive control and limit a perpetrator’s ability to further traumatise victims during the court process.”

This is good news, as the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce has already recommended that coercive control be explicitly banned in Queensland. The task force’s recommendation was given in December of last year. 

Professor Evan Stark, who developed the term coercive control, defined it as a “pattern of domination that includes tactics to isolate, degrade, exploit, and control” an individual.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government has said that this form of abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, or financial in nature.

“My government is committed to protecting victims of domestic and family violence,” said Palaszczuk. “We will do everything we can to keep them safe.”

The Trash Weather in Victoria and Tassie Continues

The torrential amount of rain that Victoria has received is doing a devastating number on the state. A lot of places are at serious risk of flooding or are already underwater. 

As of earlier this morning, the citizens of the Wedderburn region were told to evacuate now, while those near the Maribyrnong River and Benalla were told to evacuate immediately. 

Moreover, the flooding situation isn’t any better in Tasmania. People in the Mersey River area, North Esk River area, Meander River area, and downstream of Lake Isandula Dam have been told to evacuate now.

If you need to stay up-to-date in regard to these situations, go to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Warnings Index. You should also listen to what the Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) branch and the Tasmanian SES branch are currently reporting.

Related: Victoria Is in For Flash Flooding and Too Much Rain

Related: The Soulbreaking Pakistan Floods and How You Can Help

Wild Flannel Flowers Are Popping the Heck Off

In some hopeful news, a tonne of wild flannel flowers are making a comeback in the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, south of NSW’s Port Macquarie. This is huge because it demonstrates that the reserve is somewhat on the mend after a terrible bushfire in the latter half of 2019. 

“The flowers look like snow right through the understorey of the vegetation, so it’s pretty spectacular, and you don’t get to see these wildflower displays very often,” said the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s Geoffrey James. 

“It’s great to see there’s more insects around, so they are really dependent on all these flowers for food, and then the flowers are dependent on them for pollination.”

If you’re in the Port Macquarie region this event might be worth heading to. James has said that it might not happen again for another ten or 20 years.

If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also talk to someone from 1800RESPECT via online chat. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line on 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or head to The Australian Human Rights Commission for a list of state by state resources.

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