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Expand statutory examples of family violence to include forced marriage and dowry-related abuse

Recommendation 156 - In Progress

The Victorian Government amend section 6 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) to expand the statutory examples of family violence to include forced marriage and dowry-related abuse.

What we are doing

Our work to implement this recommendation includes:

  • developing a comprehensive consultation process that captures the varied views among relevant stakeholders to inform the response to this recommendation
  • undertaking consultation with stakeholders, including the Chief Magistrate's Family Violence Taskforce, the Family Violence Steering Committee and the Victim Survivors' Advisory Council
  • developing the legislation
  • working with affected stakeholders to prepare for the legislative amendment to commence

Consultation on this recommendation is a complex and sensitive issue and requires adequate time to ensure appropriate and meaningful engagement with affected stakeholders.

Where we are up to

The Department of Justice and Regulation has consulted with stakeholders, through a consultation paper that outlined a proposal to include forced marriage and dowry-related abuse as examples of family violence in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. Stakeholders consulted during this process included representatives across government and non-government organisations within the specialist family violence, justice, children and families, and legal services sectors as well as various committees.

The Department of Justice and Regulation also presented the consultation paper to the Judiciary Advisory Group on Family Violence, the Chief Magistrate's Family Violence Taskforce, the Family Violence Steering Committee, the Victim Survivors' Advisory Council, the LGBTI Justice Working Group and the Koori Caucus Working Group on Family Violence.

Targeted consultation also occurred with the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Multi-Faith Advisory Group and organisations that raised this issue with the Royal Commission, including a focus group.

Our consultations have informed the development of a legislative proposal to address recommendation 156 for inclusion in a Bill. The amendments are proposed for introduction into Parliament in March 2018 (subject to further stakeholder consultation).

Timeframe

Forecast end date: 30 June 2019.

Who is leading the change

Department of Justice and Regulation