New changes to help more Bundaberg women stay safe at home
DOMESTIC violence victims will have greater options to remain in their homes, following new legislative amendments introduced into Parliament yesterday.
Member for Bundaberg, Leanne Donaldson welcomed the changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to make it mandatory for magistrates to consider 'ouster conditions', where perpetrators are excluded from their home so that victims can remain.
"We know domestic violence is a problem that is tearing apart families, with 572 people applying for Domestic Violence Orders in the Bundaberg court last year.
"And recently, we're seeing even more victims start to speak out, thanks to more widespread media coverage and our community standing up to say Not Now, Not Ever to domestic and family violence.
"It's right that we allow victims of violence a chance to stay in their own homes and close to their friends, family, work and schools," Ms Donaldson Said.
"Of course, it is vital that we make sure when an ouster condition is granted that there is an extensive risk assessment and the victim has access to security upgrades to the home, as well as support from police, counselling and legal support."
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.
The Bill also includes:
Changes to the system of 'cross-applications' - where both parties apply for a DVO - to mean that applications are dealt with at the same time so the court can quickly determine the person most in need of protection. This will help prevent attempts to use cross-applications to slow the court process.
The introduction of a principle that victims have a right to have their views and wishes sought before decisions that affect them are made.