Domestic Violence Orders made interstate will now be recognised and enforced in the ACT and vice versa after the roll-out of a national scheme over the weekend.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette Berry said the roll-out on Saturday 25 November coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
“This scheme sends a strong message to everyone that family and domestic violence will not be tolerated and those who breach DVOs will be held to account by our justice system – right across the country,” Minister Berry said.
Attorney-General, Gordon Ramsay said the ACT’s participation in the scheme was part of the Government’s commitment to family safety under the ACT Government’s Response to Family Violence, with legislation supporting these changes contained in the Family Violence Act (2016).
“The ability to recognise and enforce domestic and family violence orders (DVOs) anywhere in Australia means greater protection for survivors regardless of jurisdictional boundaries,” Mr Ramsay said.
“Previously, family and domestic violence orders made interstate could only be enforced in the State or Territory in which they were issued – unless they were re-registered in the ACT.”
The National DVO Scheme was a great example of jurisdictions working collaboratively to strengthen the response to domestic and family violence, he said.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman ensured police were supported in their efforts to deal with domestic and family violence in the community.
“The message is clear, domestic violence is not acceptable. The participation of the ACT in this scheme will help the Government in our cause of eliminating domestic violence in Canberra,” Mr Gentleman said.
The laws only apply from 25 November and people with DVOs issued before this date can apply to the ACT Magistrates Court or any local court to have their DVO recognised nationally, irrespective of the jurisdiction where the DVO was first issued.
More information on the national scheme is available here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence, including sexual assault, you can contact:
- the Domestic Violence Crisis Service 6280 0900 – www.dvcs.org.au/;
- Legal Aid (ACT Domestic Violence and Protection Order Unit) 6243 3411 – www.legalaidact.org.au;
- Canberra Rape Crisis Centre 6247 2525 – http://crcc.org.au/;
- Beryl Women Inc, which provides supported crisis accommodation 6230 6900 – http://www.beryl.org.au/;
- EveryMan Australia 6230 6999 – http://www.everyman.org.au/;
- Victim Support ACT, 1800 822 72 – http://www.victimsupport.act.gov.au/;
- Toora Women inc, 6247 2399 – www.toora.org.au
RiotACT contributor Emma Davidson also provided an analysis of the new scheme, accessed here.