People who repeatedly breach intervention orders will be subject to tougher penalties, under new laws being introduced to Parliament by the government today.
Under the proposed laws, people who have been convicted of a previous breach within the preceding five years will be liable to a penalty of up to four years in jail or fines of up to $20,000.
Acting Premier Vickie Chapman said the move would help provide a strong deterrent to would-be perpetrators of domestic violence.
“As a Government, and as a community, we stand united in our view that domestic violence is unacceptable in any form,” Ms Chapman said.
“Intervention orders are designed to protect people from harm and - when someone shows a clear, repeated disregard for these orders – they deserve to face the full force of the law.
“By strengthening the penalty, we will send a stronger message to the community that this type of offending will not be tolerated, and that those who do will face severe consequences.”
The Government will also be expanding the definition of ‘abuse’ under the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act to include forced marriage, preventing a person from entering that person’s place of residence, and threatening to distribute invasive images of a person without their consent.
Ms Chapman said the Government has also made other changes in response to matters raised during the consultation process.
“The new laws will still introduce a separate offence of strangulation, but – as a result of community consultation – the offence has been clarified so that it is clear that it also applies to conduct that occurs after a relationship has ended,” Ms Chapman said.
“Under these laws, the offence of strangulation would also be included in the list of offences where there is a presumption against bail.”
The laws will also ensure police video recordings using body cameras at the time of an incident are admissible in court.
Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention, Carolyn Power said the strengthening of this legislation is in addition to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, which the Government launched last month, bringing together the best institutions we have across our State to help prevent Domestic Violence occurring right at the start of the cycle.
“Prevention is key to combating domestic and family violence and today’s announcement along with the already operating Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme will go a long way in stopping domestic violence before it starts,” Mrs Power said.