South Australia to conduct royal commission into domestic, family and sexual violence

A royal commission into domestic, family and sexual violence will be held in South Australia.

Premier Peter Malinauskas announced the inquiry on Wednesday following a roundtable discussion with ministers, public servants, family violence advocates and South Australia Police.

Recent deaths in South Australia were a “horrendous reminder of how far our society still has to go in addressing the scourge of domestic violence”, Malinauskas said.

“In the past few weeks, I’ve spoken with experts and advocates. We have listened carefully to the calls for a royal commission,” the Premier said in a statement.

“We conducted our own careful analysis of other inquiries, including the Victorian royal commission, before making a considered decision.

“I am satisfied that a South Australian royal commission is the best course of action we can take to ensure we have the full evidence base to drive the most effective change.”

Domestic Violence Prevention Minister Katrine Hildyard said the recent deaths of women in the state were unacceptable and the government had heard the call to further action.

Five women were recently killed in South Australia in less than three weeks, allegedly by men known to them.

“We are proud of the innovative work we’ve done so far in prevention, intervention, response, recovery and healing. But we absolutely need to do more,” Hildyard said.

“This commitment is a demonstration of our resolve to make sure that we have the best possible systems in place – to prevent violence before it starts, provide the best possible support for all women, and empower them to walk new journeys, understand and address children’s experiences of domestic violence and tackle gender inequality.”

The terms of reference for the royal commission are expected to be announced early next year, when the state government will also introduce legislation to criminalise coercive control.

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