Community action to drive family violence law reforms
ACT Government Media Release from Simon Corbell – 2.4.15 The ACT Government will embark on a major family violence legislative reform program that will address the recommendations from the Australia Law Reform Commission’s Family Violence – A National Legal Response, Attorney-General Simon Corbell announced today. Proposed legislation later this year to introduce strangulation as an offence and also allow prosecutors to use victims’ initial statements to police as evidence will complement reforms already implemented and others being considered for early next year. Mr Corbell, who will address the Domestic Violence Prevention Council extraordinary meeting today, said the government and the community were united in the fight against domestic and family violence, including sexual assault. “This is an important issue for all Canberrans and all parts of our society need to be involved in working towards a solution,” Mr Corbell said. “I will continue to work with the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, domestic violence experts and the community more generally to ensure the government can progress reforms that will help to hold perpetrators to account and to make Canberra’s women and children safe from domestic and family violence,” Mr Corbell. “In the coming months, I will bring forward a Bill to address critical issues in domestic and family violence legislation that have been raised with me by the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions and the Family Violence Intervention Program. “This will include a new strangulation offence, which recognises the threat to a victim’s health that this kind of violence can present. Prosecutors will also be able use a complainant’s recorded statements to police as evidence in a trial.” In addition to this Bill, the government has begun consultation with the community about recommendations contained in the NSW and Australia Law Reform Commission’s Family Violence – A National Legal Response. “This includes investigation of how police-issued domestic violence orders could be adopted in the ACT,” Mr Corbell said. “Early next year I hope to introduce the first stage of reforms to begin addressing the 131 ALRC recommendations.” Attorneys-general will also consider a National Domestic Violence Order Scheme at the Law, Crime and Community Safety Standing Council meeting next month. “I am very supportive of the national recognition of domestic violence orders, which will improve safety for women and children escaping domestic violence,” Mr Corbell said. ____________________________________________________
The above was a press release – ACT Government Media Release from Simon Corbell – 2.4.15.