New Laws To Stamp Out Domestic Violence In Victoria

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Members of

VIOLENT partners will be banned from the home under tough new laws.

The State Government will tomorrow begin a $1.5 million advertising campaign to encourage victims of family violence to report matters to police.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls yesterday told the Herald Sun the Family Violence: Victoria Has Had Enough campaign, aimed to promote the new laws and raise community awareness.

Under the new laws that come into effect on Monday, violent partners will also be barred from questioning victims in court and police will be able to issue safety notices outside court hours, giving them the power to remove violent family members.

The definition of "family violence" will also be extended to include emotional and financial abuse and the definition of a "family member" to include carers.

Mr Hulls said he wanted the legislation to send the message that family violence was not acceptable in any culture.

He said about 19,000 family violence cases a year were reported to police.

He said that number could rise with the legislation giving victims more confidence to report such "abhorrent" crimes.

"Statistics show that over 40 per cent of all homicides are family violence related, and recent figures show that of the 65 Australians killed by partners or former partners, 43 per cent followed a history of domestic violence that was known to police," he said.

"The figures are really pleading with us as a community to get better at responding to family violence and stopping the downward spiral of abuse before it's too late.

"I think people need to understand that family violence is a crime, that family violence is a fundamental violation of human rights and it's unacceptable in any form and it's important every person stands up against family violence and says enough is enough."

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