New Laws to Support Family Violence Victim Survivors
New laws introduced on 5th June will allow victim survivors of family violence to provide recorded statements via body-worn cameras.
The Justice Legislation Amendment (Family Violence Protection and Other Matters) Bill 2018 will allow for a recorded statement taken by police at family violence incidents – at trial sites in Epping and Ballarat – to be used as evidence in court.
The reforms will deliver on a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Family Violence for a trial of the cameras supported by any necessary change to the law.
The Bill will also allow victim survivors to file family violence intervention order applications online by making a formal declaration of truth.
For the first time, courts will also be able to make interim family violence intervention orders on their own motion at any point during the criminal process, such as during bail hearings, committal hearings, during a trial, at sentencing, and on appeal.
This will allow the courts to act immediately to manage any risk to a victim’s safety based on material emerging from the proceedings, and may ease the need for victim survivors to apply for an interim order.
The reforms will also expand the examples set out in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 to include dowry-related abuse and forced marriage as examples of family violence.