11 Dec 2012
A new domestic violence justice strategy will be implemented across NSW to make victims safer, hold perpetrators accountable and prevent re-offending.
Attorney General Greg Smith, Police Minister Mike Gallacher and Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward today announced the strategy, which will be adopted by frontline justice agencies working with domestic violence victims and offenders.
"A more coordinated and consistent approach to domestic violence in the criminal justice system is set to improve the police gathering of evidence, the efficiency of the court process, the support received by victims and the management of offenders," Mr Smith said.
"Domestic violence victims in all parts of the state can expect to receive the same high quality services from the moment they report a crime until the conclusion of the justice process."
The Domestic Violence Justice Strategy focuses on achieving six outcomes:
Victims' safety is achieved immediately and risk of further violence is reduced.
Victims have confidence in the justice system and are empowered to participate.
Victims have the support they need.
The court process for domestic violence matters is efficient, fair and accessible.
Abusive behaviour is stopped and perpetrators are held to account.
Perpetrators change their behaviour and re-offending is reduced or eliminated.
"The strategy sets time standards and performance measures which will enable the police, the courts and other justice agencies to monitor their responses to domestic violence cases, identify any problems and improve services," Mr Smith said.
Ms Goward said the more coordinated response to domestic violence in the criminal justice system would reduce the risk of cases falling through the cracks.
"Agencies will identify victims and their families at high risk of suffering further domestic violence and will work together to keep them safe," Ms Goward said.
"There will also be a stronger focus on making sure domestic violence offenders complete meaningful behavioural change programs."
The strategy will incorporate many aspects of the Domestic Violence Intervention Court Model - a successful pilot program that has been operating in Wagga Wagga and Campbelltown.
"The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found most victims involved in the Domestic Violence Intervention Court Model felt safe and were very satisfied with the police response and the support services they received," Mr Gallacher said.
"The Domestic Violence Justice Strategy will give victims the confidence to report incidents to police, knowing that their case will be taken seriously, handled with sensitivity and that they will be kept informed throughout the process."
Copies of the strategy can be found at www.domesticviolence.lawlink.nsw.gov.au.
Geesche Jacobsen (Attorney General) 0467 737 920
Simon Fontana (Minister Goward) 0467 738 139
Tess Salmon (Minister Gallacher) 0467 740 017
To view the PDF version of this media release you can access it here