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Police Safety Notices protect family violence victims (VIC)

From the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Victoria
Monday, 4 October, 2010

POLICE SAFETY NOTICES PROTECT FAMILY VIOLENCE VICTIMS

An evaluation of Family Violence Safety Notices released today shows they have led to an improved after hours response to family violence incidents by police and increased the safety of victims.

Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said the data, released at a family violence roundtable, showed police had issued 3909 family violence safety notices in a 15 month period since the introduction of the notices, and in 84 per cent of cases, the alleged perpetrators were removed from the home.
Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls said
The safety notices were intended to make perpetrators of family violence more accountable and the immediate issuing of a notice provides a strong and clear message delivered by police that family violence is unacceptable and against the law

The majority of police call outs to family violence incidents occur out of hours. Giving our police this additional tool has meant they feel more empowered to take action, contributing to an increase in the civil action taken by police.
Family Violence Safety Notices were introduced in 2008 as part of the Brumby Labor Governments new laws to better protect victims of family violence.

The notices provide immediate safety for victims and their children for up to a 72 hour period from the time the notice is issued, and act as an application to the Magistrates Court for a family violence intervention order.

Penalties for breaching a safety notice are the same as those which apply to breach of an intervention order. Mr Hulls said this had acted as a strong deterrent to perpetrators, with recorded breaches of the notices very low.
Police Minister Bob Cameron said
A 15 month evaluation of the safety notices showed they were proving an effective tool for police in the fight against family violence.

The evaluation highlights that this new police power has contributed to an improved after hours response to family violence by Victoria Police

Our police are at the frontline of responding to family violence, and I am pleased to hear that having this additional tool has improved the safety of victims after hours and has held perpetrators accountable for their behaviour.
Minister for Womens Affairs Maxine Morand said the Brumby Labor Government had undertaken an unprecedented level of family violence reform, supported by the investment of more than $175 million in reducing violence against women since 2005.
Minister for Womens Affairs Maxine Morand said
Family violence is one of the most important issues for this Government to tackle through new laws and community awareness.

With the help of the community, our response to family violence is improving but there is always more to be done to ensure women and children can live without violence in their own homes and in the community.

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