Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017

  • Prevent gaps in protection. An interim protection order (IPO) protects survivors during police investigation, while a protection order (PO) protects survivors during criminal court proceedings. The amendments specify when an IPO ends, and when a PO begins, so survivors won’t be left without protection between police investigations and court proceeding.
  • Strengthen the IPO to prevent further abuse. With the amendments, an IPO can include additional safeguards, like prohibiting an abuser from coming near a survivor – so police can intervene before further violence happens.
  • Expand the definition of domestic violence. The expanded definition will protect against: misappropriating property, which causes distress; threatening, which causes distress or fear for safety; or communicating (including electronically) with the survivor to insult modesty.
  • Improve rehabilitation provisions. A court can no longer order a survivor to attend reconciliatory counselling with the abuser, which puts the survivor in danger. Instead, the abuser can be ordered to complete a rehabilitation programme.
  • Recognise survivor’s right to exclusive occupancy. If a court grants a survivor occupancy of a shared residence, it must grant the survivor exclusive occupancy – not just a specified part of the residence.
  • Keep survivors better informed. The police officer must keep survivors informed on the status of investigation, status of IPO and PO, and important court dates.
  • Create the Emergency Protection Order (EPO). The EPO helps survivors get protection faster – EPOs are issued by social welfare officers who are easily accessible (IPOs are issued by magistrates). Survivors won’t have to make a police report to get an EPO. The EPO is valid for seven days, and protects against physical injury and fear of physical injury.

Geographical location 

Year 

2017

Type 

Jurisdiction 

Avon Center work product