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Holding perpetrators to account

We have already introduced a number of new laws that will reform Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIOs), overhauled privacy laws, and the Sentencing Advisory Council is exploring options for swift and certain sentencing.

Further reforms will be made over coming years to ensure we have the strongest and most effective legal framework for holding perpetrators to account.

Improving perpetrator interventions and accountability

Investment: $76.9 million over 4 years 

Supports Royal Commission recommendations: 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 146

Supports the Coronial Inquest into the death of Luke Batty recommendation: 6

Our investment supports a range of evidence-based initiatives that promote greater perpetrator accountability and supports behaviour change including:

  • enhancing the standards for men’s behaviour change programs (MBCP) providers and increasing the number of program places available for perpetrators
  • providing additional capacity to enable the Men’s Referral Service to respond to increasing helpline demand
  • increasing the capacity of intake services to respond to perpetrators
  • strengthening a long-standing community-led behaviour change program for Aboriginal male perpetrators of family violence
  • continuing funding over the next 4 years for men’s behaviour change programs in the corrections system
  • trialling and evaluating family violence-specific assessment, case management and referral services in the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court and in the community sector
  • providing flexible support packages for perpetrators with multiple and complex needs
  • testing and evaluating new perpetrator interventions
  • improving the ability of the courts to monitor perpetrators
  • establishing a family violence Restorative Justice framework and pilot project
  • trialling and evaluating an LGBTI applicant practitioner and LGBTI respondent practitioner in the Magistrates’ Court at 2 locations
  • trialling and evaluating interventions for adolescents who use family violence at the Children’s Court to intervene before the offending behaviours become entrenched
  • expanding the Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) and continuing the CISP Remand Outreach Pilot (CROP) program.

Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions

Supports Royal Commission recommendations: 86, 87

In 2016, we established the Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions.

The committee will provide its final advice to government in May 2018. So far, it has advised on:

  • the principles that should inform Victoria’s perpetrator interventions
  • mapping the roles and responsibilities of government agencies and non-government services that have contact with perpetrators
  • how to strengthen current practice guidelines for engagement with perpetrators of family violence by child protection practitioners
  • the scope for innovative interventions targeted at different cohorts of perpetrators.

Over the next 12 months, the committee will advise on:

  • the spectrum of programs, services and initiatives that should be available in Victoria, in the community and justice sector
  • the trialling and evaluation of new perpetrator interventions.

 

Law reforms

Supports Royal Commission recommendations: 22, 30, 57, 72, 75, 76, 78, 94, 132, 138, 150

In March 2017, we introduced the Family Violence Protection Act Amendment Bill into Parliament to implement some of the Royal Commission’s law reforms. The changes in this Bill will make significant improvements to the system of:

  • Family Violence Safety Notices (FVSNs)
  • Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIOs)
  • the response of the justice system to family violence more broadly to maximise the safety of victims of family violence, including children.

We will also introduce legislation into Parliament in early 2018 which will provide greater safeguards to victims by increasing their ability to give evidence from a location outside the courtroom and more easily allow for them to apply for a FVIO online.

The reforms will also improve early intervention for adolescents who use family violence by allowing courts to make therapeutic treatment orders for children aged 15 to 17 displaying sexually abusive behaviours.