Court reforms to help victims

Story appeared in: Inner West Times | May 17th, 2017

COURTS will need to give more consideration to the safety of victims of domestic violence when it comes to sentencing offenders under reforms announced by the State Government.
According to figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, incidents of domestic violence reported in the former Marrickville LGA, dropped from 248 in 2015 to 199 in last year, with a fall also recorded in the former Canterbury LGA, down from 488 to 473.
CEO of Domestic Violence NSW, Moo Baulch, has welcomed the recent reforms which also aim to encourage early guilty pleas, allowing victims to get on with their lives sooner.
"We want women and their families to feel supported and to know that the system will give them consistency and prioritise their safety," she said.
"It's about building a criminal justice system that listens to what victim survivors need."
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, has also praised the introduction of a presumption that offenders will receive prison time or a supervised sentence.
"Currently 75 per cent of domestic violence offenders are given a sentence that has no supervision attached and no condition to address their offending behaviour," she said.
"We need victims of domestic and family violence to know that the system will help keep them safe."
Police Commissioner Michael Fuller also welcomed an expansion of the Safer Pathway program which will allow GPs to refer victims to specialist support services.
"It also ensures GPs can directly refer them to specialist support services without the fear sometimes associated with official reporting," he said.

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Publication: Inner West Times | Section: News | Author: Mark Kirkland | Story ID: 127749 | Viewcount: 5442