KEY TAKE OUTS:
- Major Courts such as the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have introduced a new training program that court staff will be required to undertake in relation to Family Violence.
- The purpose of the program is to ensure that staff has the relevant tools to ensure that domestic violence approaches are consistent and dependable.
- The training program has been introduced to improve the family law system and dealing with matters involving family violence.
Major Courts such as the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have introduced a new training program that court staff will be required to undertake in relation to family violence.
About the program
The training is hosted by ‘Safe & Together’ and executive director Davis Mandel. Safe & Together Institute is a resource for domestic violence training and tools to ensure that domestic violence approaches are consistent and dependable.
The training program that the courts will undertake will focus on the protection of children in family violence cases, identification of protective parenting, coercive controlling behavior, and the impact family violence has on children.
Why was it introduced?
The training program was introduced to improve the family law system after inquiries for consistent training and professional development in the family law area to manage family violence cases appropriately.
In conjunction with these inquires for development in the family law sector, there has been an increase in domestic violence that has influenced the introduction of the training program.
New South Wales domestic violence statistics
According to the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (NSWBOCSR), in 2016 there were 29,145 domestic violence-related assaults recorded. In 2020 there were 32,078, an increase of up to 2.4% over the last 5 years.
There has also been an increase of up to 10% in domestic violence cases in relation to intimidation, stalking and harassment over a two-year period (January 2019 to December 2020). As for breaches of Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO’s), there has been an increase of 16,995 incidents in 2019 to 18,897 incidents in 2020, up to an 11.2% increase in breaches.
Family violence offences
There are different offences a person may be charged with under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) if alleged to have engaged in family violence.
Examples of Family Violence Offences
A person alleged to have commit murder will be liable for imprisonment for life under section 19A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
In relation to assault, section 29 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) establishes that an assault occasioning actual bodily harm will be liable to 5 years imprisonment.
A person who is alleged to be stalking or intimidating with the intent to cause fear (physical or mental) will be liable under section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) for imprisonment for 5 years or 50 penalty units.
A person will be charged for destroying or damaging property under section 195 of the Crimes Act, which states that the defendant will be liable for 5 years imprisonment or 10 years if the damage is caused by explosives or fire.
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ABOUT LUISA GAETANI:
Luisa is a Senior Associate at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancer and head of our Family and Criminal Law divisions. Luisa has practiced solely in the areas of criminal and family law. It is her sensitive yet pragmatic approach that has allowed her to develop a strong rapport and build trusting relationships with her clients. Should a client’s matter proceed to court, Luisa has the skillset and experience to assist her clients through this process and where required, will draw upon her network of barristers to further benefit her client’s outcomes.
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This blog is merely general and non-specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.