16 Days: Call to Action – Write your Attorney General and Minister for Justice (template attached)
The term “Domestic Violence” covers a range of offenses that are, by law, CRIMES.
(for an interesting read on the Justice System Strategies, have a look at this report covering 2013-2017)
It means that it is essential that the Justice System and the strategies employed and rolled out ensure incidents can and continue to be reported and offer solutions to reduce and address ongoing domestic violence.
Currently police MUST respond to a report and also must advise a local service of the victims’ details. In addition, Local Court Advocacy Workers will support and advocate for the victim.
However, continued review of Magistrates’ responses to domestic violence within our Local Court System need to be undertaken. There is inconsistency and leniency to those who perpetrate domestic violence offenses and breaches of AVO’s.
Too many times perpetrators offend repeatedly &/or breach the terms of their AVO, only to be given yet another warning, or at worse, community based orders. These do not serve as a deterrent.
The “punishment must fit the crime”. We hear that our gaols include people who have failed to pay fines; often as a result of minor traffic offenses, or even failing to register a pet. Yet, domestic violence offenders may offend repeatedly and never see the inside of a gaol cell.
If we are to tackle domestic violence and make serious inroads into reducing numbers of victims, then the “end point”, the Magistrate’s decision, must demonstrate the gravity of the action. This is where it counts. The perpetrator must be afraid of the justice system; they must see it as a motivation to change their behaviour. Otherwise reforms into police and specialist service responses are a waste of time.
Today, take a moment to download the letter template requesting the Attorney General and Minister for Justice to review and address the same.