New laws in Western Australia announced last month have been described as the most comprehensive family violence law reforms the state has ever seen.
The reforms exist of legislative changes to Western Australia’s Criminal Code, some examples being introduction of offences such as non-fatal strangulation and persistent family violence.
Besides brand new offences, the reforms also bring new aggravated penalties for offences that often occur in family violence situations, declarations for serial family violence offenders and jury direction that aim to mitigate common stereotypes, myths or misconceptions about domestic violence that may influence jury decisions.
The legislation reflects the seriousness of domestic violence and related offences, and allows Western Australia’s legal and court system to more effectively protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
Our principal solicitor Greg Martin agrees:
“These legislative changes will save lives. Family violence and domestic violence is an epidemic in Australia. In excess of 1.5 million women have experienced family violence, be it physical or sexual, by a partner in their own home. The home and family should be a place that you feel safe, devoid of fear and violence. Domestic violence is an insidious crime.”
These legislative changes should be introduced nationwide into the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), not the various criminal codes or acts in each state.
If you need legal advice in relation to domestic violence, family law or any other legal matter, please contact Greg Martin or Jacqueline Wainwright on (02) 9687 9322.