On Tuesday 30 May 2017 changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 automatically commenced.
These amendment reflect recommendations made by the “Not Now, Not Ever Report” and are designed to further strengthen the protection of victims under the legislation and enhanced consequences for offenders.
The changes which have now been implemented are:-
- Greater Police Protection with the scope of Police Protection Notices expanded to enable police to better protect a victim as well as their children, relatives and associates.
- Longer Protection Orders with the duration of final orders extended from 2 years to 5 years unless the Court is satisfied that there are reasons for a shorter duration.
- Greater consideration of Family Law Orders as the Court is now required to consider the terms of any existing family law order and whether that Order needs to be varied or suspended where it is inconsistent with the protection needed by the victim or named children.
- Harsher penalties for police protection notice and release condition breaches, with the maximum penalty increasing to three years imprisonment.
- Police are also now able to refer victims and perpetrators to specialist domestic and family violence service providers, without any party’s consent, if they consider there is a threat to a person’s life, health or safety or if that person has committed domestic violence.
Most importantly as and from 30 May 2017 a comprehensive information sharing network will commence which will facilitate information sharing between key government and non-government entities to enable better risk assessment and management of serious domestic and family violence threats.
Family lawyers and all working within the jurisdiction of family law and domestic violence welcome these changes as a positive and progressive move toward better victim protection and cross jurisdictional co-operation for the benefit of families and children.
The Family Law team at Marino Law include experts in domestic and family violence matters, acting for both aggrieved parties and respondent’s to assist all concerned to navigate the often difficult and emotionally taxing areas of both family Law and domestic violence. If you require assistance in relation to a domestic or family violence matter, please contact our office without delay.