Protecting victims wherever they are
We recently introduced a Bill to help protect victims of domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable wherever they go. At the moment, if the equivalent of an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order is issued in another state, the protected person coming to NSW has to go to court and apply to have it registered. We want to make Domestic Violence Orders automatic across state borders because these victims have been through enough.
The burden is currently on the victim moving to a new state to apply to the court to have their DVO registered, which can be traumatising for victims and potentially alert a perpetrator to their new location. With these new laws, a victim will no longer need to register an interstate order in a NSW court.
Domestic violence has massive immediate and long-term impacts on its victims, the majority of whom are women and children. In NSW, it is a leading contributor of ill health and premature death for women under 45 years, outstripping any other health risks for women in this age group. Domestic violence has one of the highest re-offending rates so we will focus our efforts on repeat offenders to reduce this.
That’s why it’s a NSW State Priority to reduce domestic violence reoffending rates to better protect victims by predicting and preventing violent behaviour.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that each State and Territory would introduce model laws to automatically recognise and enforce Domestic Violence Orders across Australia last December.
We are the first state to introduce these laws to improve information sharing across borders which will help better protect the safety of victims and allow police to work more closely with their interstate counterparts to target, monitor and reduce domestic violence offending.
These significant reforms build on many other initiatives we’ve introduced to help improve victims' safety and increase victims' confidence in our criminal justice system. There are tough penalties in place for breaches of an ADVO as well as other charges that might arise, such as stalking and intimidation. We have already introduced reforms to give senior police the power to issue an on-the-spot provisional ADVO. We are also rewriting our ADVOs in "plain English" so that there are no excuses for violations.