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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    New changes to help more women stay safe at home

    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Thursday, October 29, 2015

    New changes to help more women stay safe at home

    Domestic violence victims will have greater options to remain in their homes, following new legislative amendments introduced into Parliament today.

    The changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 will make it mandatory for Magistrates to consider ‘ouster conditions’, where perpetrators are excluded from their home so that victims can remain.

    Minister for Women and Communities, Shannon Fentiman, said that many women wanted the option to remain in their communities, close to support networks and to allow their children to remain at the same school.

    “Why should victims of abuse always have to leave their own home because they are subject to abuse? If it is safe to do so and they wish to stay, then we want to see that happen more often,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “Ouster conditions are not applied for, or made, often enough, with only about 28 percent of cases in the last three years including them.”

    “It will be essential that ouster conditions are granted as part of an integrated response, with support for the victim from police, counselling and legal support, along with risk assessment and appropriate security upgrades.”

    The changes make it mandatory for Magistrates to consider an ouster condition, but allow them discretion to consider if it is appropriate.

    The Government is investing $1.38 million this financial year for 11 services across Queensland to undertake improvements to home security of victims of domestic and family violence.

    Ms Fentiman said changes to the system of ‘cross-applications’ – where both parties apply for a DVO - were another key element of the Bill.

    “It is well known that some perpetrators use the cross-application system as a way to slow the court process. These changes will mean that applications are dealt with at the same time so the court can quickly determine the person most in need of protection.”

    The amendments also included the introduction of a principle that victims have a right to have their views and wishes sought before decisions that affect them are made.

    All of the legislative amendments were recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report.

    Minister Fentiman also last night launched new research from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) outlining how intimate partner sexual violence is used as a ‘tactic’ of domestic violence, with women experiencing it less likely to seek help than victims of other forms of DV.

    The new research paper, Sexual assault and domestic violence in the context of co-occurrence and re-victimisation: State of knowledge will help inform Queensland’s new Violence Against Women Prevention Plan.

    For more information about work to tackle domestic and family violence and violence against women: https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/end-domestic-and-family-violence

    Media Contact:                                                 Alex Purnell - 0437 336 232