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.
Family Violence Safety Notices were introduced in 2008 as part of the Brumby Labor Governments new laws to better protect victims of family violence.
Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls saidThe 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.
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.
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.
Police Minister Bob Cameron saidA 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 saidFamily 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.