Bill to stream­line vi­o­lence or­ders

South Western Times - - News - Emily Ace

SOUTH West Refuge chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Anita Short­land has wel­comed changes which will al­low vic­tims of do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence to be bet­ter pro­tected from Novem­ber 25.

The Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Or­der Scheme will al­low an or­der made in one State or Ter­ri­tory to au­to­mat­i­cally op­er­ate across all ju­ris­dic­tions once es­tab­lished.

The Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Or­ders (Na­tional Recog­ni­tion) Bill 2017 passed Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly ear­lier this month and will en­sure bet­ter pro­tec­tion for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and per­pe­tra­tor ac­count­abil­ity.

Ms Short­land said the re­vi­sion would pro­vide bet­ter pro­tec­tion for sur­vivors of fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence who move be­tween States, often for safety rea­sons.

“The aim of the new act is to en­force Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Re­strain­ing Or­ders across state bound­aries,” she said. “It also saves them from hav­ing to re­count dis­tress­ing events again to another mag­is­trate, who in the past may have re­fused to grant the FVRO on the ba­sis of the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor be­ing in another State at the time of the ap­pli­ca­tion.”

Ms Short­land said the in­tro­duc­tion of im­prove­ments un­der the amended WA Re­strain­ing Or­ders Act 1997 had also been made this year, specif­i­cally with new Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Re­strain­ing Or­ders.

“FVROs should be eas­ier to ob­tain for those who need them, as the amended act recog­nises forms of vi­o­lence that are not phys­i­cal – like ver­bal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and fi­nan­cial abuse,” she said.

“Both acts are im­por­tant for keep­ing sur­vivors of fam­ily do­mes­tic vi­o­lence safe, as lo­cal po­lice take ac­tion against those who con­tinue stalk­ing, cre­at­ing fear, and per­pe­trat­ing any kind of vi­o­lence after an FVRO has been is­sued.”

Pre­ven­tion of Fam­ily and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Min­is­ter Si­mone McGurk said it was time to pro­vide “con­sis­tent, in­stan­ta­neous le­gal pro­tec­tion across State and Ter­ri­tory bound­aries” as WA was the only State yet to en­act leg­is­la­tion to join the na­tional scheme.

“This im­por­tant step will en­sure vic­tims com­ing to or leav­ing WA to es­cape vi­o­lence will have their do­mes­tic vi­o­lence or­der, in ef­fect, au­to­mat­i­cally recog­nised wher­ever they go un­der the scheme.”

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