Domestic violence: state laws to ‘ouster’ perpetrators from homes

SHAY LEDINGHAM

New law changes will give domestic violence survivors a higher chance of remaining in their own homes. Source: David Castillo Dominici (freedigitalphotos.net)

New law changes will give domestic violence survivors a higher chance of remaining in their own homes.
Source: David Castillo Dominici (freedigitalphotos.net)

Proposed legislative changes will help domestic and family violence sufferers remain in their homes, the state government says.

The flagged amendments would make it mandatory for Magistrates to consider ‘ouster conditions’, which exclude perpetrators from re-entering the home, physically removing the threat from those seeking to escape it.

Minister for Women and Communities Shannon Fentiman said giving survivors the opportunity to remain in their own homes reduced the likelihood of destitution, and allowed them to remain connected to the community.

“Simply being able to continue their friendship and support networks, or their children’s schooling makes a huge difference to the well-being of victims of violence,” Minister Fentiman said.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness, with partner and family violence cited as
the most commonly reported reason for women and children escaping their homes.

Further national studies show that safe, affordable housing is critical for survivors, as costs involved with relocation efforts quickly overtake other crucial needs such as education and employment.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said women and children had a right to stay in their own homes, and the amendments would remain part of an integrated response system.

“It makes sense that if it is safe to do so and with the appropriate support, victims who wish to stay in their home can do so and the perpetrator leaves.”

“This is a complex area and the safety of victims must always be paramount.”

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