New legislation to remove domestic violence perpetrators from family home
It will be mandatory for Magistrates to consider ‘ouster conditions’ allowing domestic violence victims to remain in the home, while forcing the perpetrator to leave, as part of new laws passed by State Parliament today.
Minister for Women and Communities Shannon Fentiman said safety was paramount, but it was right that victims remain in their home where it is safe for them to do so.
“Often the chance to remain near their children’s schools and support networks within their community can make all the difference for victims of violence as they try to rebuild their lives,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Magistrates will continue to have discretion about whether or not an ouster condition excluding a perpetrator from a home is made.
“Services for victims, including risk assessments and appropriate security upgrades, are essential to support the making of ouster conditions and to maintain victims’ safety.”
The Government is investing $1.38 million this financial year for 11 services across Queensland to undertake improvements to home security of victims of domestic and family violence.
Other changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 included changes to the way courts hear ‘cross-applications’ – where both people apply for a DVO – to ensure the person most at risk is protected.
These changes will mean that applications are dealt with at the same time, so the court has all of the information before it to determine the person most in need of protection. The only exception will be where it is necessary to deal with the applications separately to ensure the safety, protection or wellbeing of one of the applicants.
Minister Fentiman said the changes also introduce a principle that the views and wishes of victims should be sought before decisions affecting them are made.
All of the legislative amendments were recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report.
For more information about work to tackle domestic and family violence and violence against women: Queensland Government Domestic Violence Site