Proposed legislative changes will help victims of domestic violence stay in their homes
Minister for Women and Communities Shannon Fentiman said too often women and children were forced to flee – leaving homes, schools and communities.
Current laws allow for ouster conditions which provide the potential for the aggressor to be removed but records show the orders are only being applied for in about 28 per cent of cases.
The Government is currently considering amendments to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to make it mandatory for Magistrates to consider ouster conditions, where perpetrators are excluded from their home so that victims can remain.
Ms Fentiman said the new laws would make it mandatory for judges to consider applying the conditions. “Simply being able to continue their friendship and support networks, or their children’s schooling makes a huge difference to the wellbeing of victims of violence,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We want to see that change, but it will have to be part of an integrated response, with support for the victim from police, counselling and legal support, along with risk assessment and appropriate security upgrades.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said women and children had a right to stay in their own home.
“Women and children experiencing violence are often forced to flee, leaving work, homes, schools and their community to escape a violent partner,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It makes sense that if it is safe to do so and with the appropriate support, victims who wish to stay in their home can do so and the perpetrator leaves.
“This is a complex area and the safety of victims must always be paramount. Our changes would make it mandatory for Magistrates to consider an ouster condition, but allow them discretion to consider if it is appropriate.”