Stronger justice system to respond to family violence


Melbourne: The Andrews Labor Government will deliver a $23.9 million investment to hold family violence perpetrators to account and support victims as we overhaul the way the justice system responds to our number one law and order challenge.

The Labor Government recently announced funding to expand legal assistance, give agencies the resources they need to address family violence, and to begin reforming the system, an official press release said.

The family violence package in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget, will deliver:

• $4.6 million in legal assistance to continue and expand specialist family violence services at Community Legal Centres and Victoria Legal Aid.
• $4 million funding to begin delivering Royal Commission recommendations on court reform and to develop innovative justice approaches.
• $11.32 million to review and expand men’s behaviour change programs as recommended by the Royal Commission and to develop new ways to monitor and hold perpetrators account.
• $3.6 million over two years for sexual assault counselling for women in Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and Tarrengower Prison as well as a therapeutic family violence recovery program.
• $330,000 for specialist family violence responses for CALD victims and perpetrators in the corrections system.

Victoria Police will also begin a trial of bodyworn cameras, and will be given the equipment they need to respond more quickly to family violence. The forthcoming Budget will also contain further investments to give police the resources they need to combat this crime.

The Government is reforming Victoria’s broken family violence system from the bottom up after the release of the Royal Commission into Family Violence report. This will include changes to laws to better protect the vulnerable and hold perpetrators to account. (TIW)