New Domestic and Family Violence laws now in effect
Published Wednesday, 31 May, 2017 at 09:11 AM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
Legislative changes that the Palaszczuk Government introduced to better protect victims of domestic and family violence have now come into effect.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said some amendments to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, which were made following the Not Now, Not Ever report, included more tailored domestic violence orders that provided better protection for victims and held perpetrators to account.
“Tackling domestic and family violence remains one of the Palaszczuk Government’s highest priorities and we are continuing to lead a program of reform to try and stamp out domestic and family violence in Queensland,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“Under changes that came into effect this week, domestic and family violence protection orders will last for five years instead of two, unless a court orders otherwise, giving victims more than double the period of protection provided under existing orders.
“The laws clarify that a court can issue a domestic violence order based on a victim being threatened or fearful for their safety and well-being.
“We are also sending a clear message to perpetrators of domestic violence who agree to participate in an intervention order, that their compliance is mandatory and that if they do not comply with an intervention order, this will be taken into account when making or varying a protection order made at a later date.
“There will be greater focus on tailoring help for victims and our courts will consider which specific protection order conditions are needed to protect the victim or other people named in the order.”
Mrs D’Ath said domestic and family violence was one of the most complex, insidious and damaging issues affecting our community – impacting the lives of children, women, men and families, and causing harm across generations.
“The complexity is reflected in the high proportion of domestic and family violence work in our courts,” she said.
“Nearly 20 per cent of the overall state wide workload of the Magistrates Court involves domestic and family violence. It is core work for Queensland’s courts.”
Mrs D’Ath said a new protocol developed between Queensland Courts and the Family Court of Australia was a great example of jurisdictions working together to improve the safety of domestic violence victims and their children.
“Courts must also now consider Family Law Orders when making or amending a domestic violence protection order to ensure consistency between the two orders and will obtain a copy of the family law order where a party cannot supply it,” she said.
As part of new information sharing provisions, Courts will also be key contributors of information to relevant government and non-government providers to assess and respond to high risk domestic violence cases.
More information about the changes strengthening the justice system responses to domestic and family violence is available at www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/end-domestic-family-violence/.
Media Contact: 0437 696 809