Following a well-publicised spate of family violence-related attacks, the Queensland Government has responded to calls to strengthen domestic violence laws.
The Not Now, Not Ever Task Force, headed by The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO was tasked with researching and collectively reporting incidents throughout Queensland.
The Task Force subsequently made recommendations to Parliament, most of which have now been implemented into law.
The new-look legislation provided greater protections for victims by giving them the status of ‘special witness.’ This means that victims will not have to face their alleged attackers in court, thereby making it easier for victims to give evidence at trial. This is viewed as a step towards giving ‘power’ back to the victim.
In addition, breaches of Domestic Violence Orders (DVO) will now be punished more severely. An initial breach of a DVO can now incur a maximum of 3 years imprisonment (increased from 2 years). Subsequent breaches may now incur a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment (increased from 3 years).
These changes to Domestic Violence Laws coincide with 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Running from 25 November 2015 until 10 December 2016, the global campaign seeks to raise awareness about family violence and its impact on the victim’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. Not-For-Profit organisations will be holdings in events during this period throughout the local community, including walks, morning teas, seminars and other events in order to raise much needed funds and awareness for this societal issue.
Should you find yourself needing advice on Domestic Violence Orders, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
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