Thursday, 12 May 2016
MORE PROTECTION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward welcomed changes to the Apprehended Domestic Violence
Order (ADVO) Scheme introduced into Parliament this week to better protect victims of domestic violence in New South Wales.
The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Review) Bill 2016 will give effect to all 17 recommendations of the Statutory Review of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act
Ms Goward said importantly, the legislation ensures domestic violence is treated like the crime it is and provides greater protections to victims, their families and current partners.
“These changes are vital to protect domestic violence victims and their families in our region,” Ms Goward said.
“The changes will make it easier for victims to get an ADVO without having to prove fear of violence in court, something that I hope will make more victims come forward without fear of having to face their perpetrator.
“This means magistrates will be able to hear final applications for ADVOs even if the victim doesn’t appear in court and police will be notified of any application to change or revoke an ADVO.
“This builds on the NSW Government’s reputation as a national leader in the protection of domestic violence victims.”
Crimes categorized as ‘domestic violence offences’ will now also include any and all NSW or Commonwealth criminal offence where the defendant intends to coerce, control or cause fear in the victim, like using a mobile service to menace, harass or cause offence.
The definition of ‘domestic relationship’ will be extended to include the victim’s new partner and examples of consequences of breaches of ADVO conditions will also be included in the order, to improve information for both victims and perpetrators.
The legislation will also enshrine in law that self-represented defendants cannot personally cross-examine child witnesses during ADVO applications, and that a person cannot apply for an ADVO to be revoked after it has expired.
NSW leads the nation as the first jurisdiction to introduce model laws to recognise and enforce domestic
violence orders across the country, to better protect victims and hold perpetrators to account, regardless of where they live.