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Catfishing may be categorised as domestic violence suggests Attorney-General

Article image for Catfishing may be categorised as domestic violence suggests Attorney-General

Following the tragic death of a woman after she was catfished, her family is yet to see the act made illegal.

The parents of Sydney woman Renae Marsden, who was catfished by her friend, have fought to make catfishing illegal.

Renae Marsden took her own life in 2013 after an SMS relationship with a fake persona ended.

The 20-year-old was in an 18-month-long relationship with a man named Brayden Spiteri, who was supposedly in prison. But during the coronial inquest into Marsden’s death it turned out “Brayden” was, in fact, an alias created by Renae’s ‘friend’ Camilla.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman joined Deborah Knight in the studio and told her “the very unusual circumstances of Renae’s death and what led up to that death don’t appear to be caught by our criminal law”.


Mr Speakman said the Domestic Violence Death Review Team will be looking at the case.

“We’re looking at some fairly broad-ranging law reform in the area of coercive control with domestic violence.”

However, Deborah Knight pointed out classifying catfishing under domestic violence may allow a lot of cases to fall through the cracks.

“There isn’t a catch-all,” admits the Attorney-General.

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Deborah Knight
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