Bethany welcomes new laws to boost family violence protection


Tuesday 14 March 2017


On 7 March 2017, the Andrews Labor Government introduced the Family Violence Protection Amendment Bill 2017. This Bill responds to 11 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence and is aimed at increasing protection for women and children, holding those who use family violence accountable and enhancing the justice system’s response to family violence. The Bill means:

• faster and simpler processes for serving family violence intervention orders (FVIOs);

• new measures to prevent abuse of the intervention order appeal process;

• allowing pre-recorded evidence to be used in some proceedings for family violence offences; and

• increased protection for children exposed to family violence.

This Bill signals important improvements in ensuring a significant reduction in women and children’s experiences of repeat victimisation as the result of the perpetrator’s reliance on gaps within the justice system and legislation.

Grant Boyd, the CEO of Bethany Community Support, responded to this Bill:

“Many of the women impacted by family violence that access our services express their frustration, disappointment and anger about gaps within the justice system that allow perpetrators to continue to inflict abuse and control upon them and their children. This Bill is very significant in closing the gaps and in ensuring that perpetrators are held to account for using violence.”

Bethany Community Support provides a specialist family violence response to men who use violence across the Geelong and surrounding areas. Last year, Bethany received 1,500 referrals for men who use violence. These referrals are received from Victoria Police, Magistrate’s Court, community organisations and self-referrals.

Our specialist family violence workforce provide risk assessment, group-based interventions and case management to men who are referred, to work on making different choices than using violence against their partners and children.