Justice Minister Simon Power today welcomed Parliament’s unanimous passing of a law to protect child victims of family violence.
The Child and Family Protection Bill (which was split into three bills for third reading) focuses on keeping children safe where there have been instances of family violence in the home, and improves the responsiveness of the Family Court to those victims.
“Children are our most vulnerable members of society and deserve special protection,” Mr Power said
The Child and Family Protection Bill:
Mr Power said that in the 2009/10 year there were 3,867 domestic violence cases in the Family Court which each involved at least one child.
“The passing of this bill is another step in the Government’s work programme to improve the justice system for those who find themselves in it through no fault of their own.”
Other work in this area has included making offending against a child a specific aggravating factor at sentencing, allowing police to issue-on-the-spot safety orders for victims of domestic violence, and rolling out 13 new services and entitlements for victims of crime.
Before the election, Mr Power plans to further progress the Victims of Crime Reform Bill, and the Crimes Amendment Bill which creates a new offence of failing to protect a child or vulnerable adult from abuse, as well as outlining proposals to make courts more responsive to the needs of child victims and witnesses.