This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
The sexual assault exposes by Chanel Contos and Brittany Higgins prove that plans to introduce a new law to quash coercive control are a knee-jerk reaction by politicians that will not make women and children safer.
Coercive control is a terrifying pattern of domestic abuse behaviour, including physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse. It is a psychological torture that grinds women down, robbing them of their autonomy and independence.
At last week’s NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into coercive control in domestic relationships, a submission from investigative journalist Jess Hill heard that this type of abuse was so soul-destroying some women said, "I wish he’d just hit me."
Watch sexual assault survivor and advocate Grace Tame's Australian of the Year acceptance speech. Post continues after video.
But many of the submissions to the inquiry argued that the last thing they need is a new law, what they actually need, to make women and children safer, is more resources and training for those on the frontline of domestic and family violence services and much more education.
Sadly, the recent shocking reports of a sexual assault endemic in our private schools and the cover-up over the rape of a young woman in Parliament have only served to underline this.
When Chanel Contos and Brittany Higgins bravely came forward, it served as yet another blunt reminder that no matter how much you criminalise behaviour, that behaviour won’t necessarily change.
There are severe penalties for sexual assault. Yet when Chanel and her friends walked away from a Year 10 sex education class, it was the very first time they had understood that it was a crime for boys to force them to have oral sex.