The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General has agreed a national scheme for domestic and family violence orders, allowing a domestic or family violence order (DVO) issued by a court in one jurisdiction to be automatically recognised in other jurisdictions.
Australia is made up of seven states which operate under separated state law and unified federal law.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said:
“Under current arrangements, if a protected person wants to have their DVO recognised in another jurisdiction they have to ’register’ the order with a court in that jurisdiction. Many people fleeing domestic violence may not be aware of the requirement to register the order if moving interstate. In addition, some protected people are too fearful for their safety to approach a court.
“Under the national scheme, victims of domestic violence will be able to travel or move to another State and Territory and be automatically protected by their DVO. Allowing court issued domestic and family violence orders to be valid and enforceable across State and Territory borders is an important improvement in the protection of victims of domestic violence.”
The Australian Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, is responsible for a National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their children 2010 – 2022.
Explaining the purpose of the plan, the Minister said:
“Alarmingly, one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15. Almost one in five has experienced sexual violence. These figures are staggering and deeply disturbing. The National Plan represents an end to the ad hoc and generalised solutions to this type of violence, and commits all governments to work together, to share our best practices and to make a real difference for Australian women.”
States and Territories will now work together to draft legislation to give effect to this agreement.