Department of Family and Community Services

New sentencing reforms to better protect victims of domestic violence

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18 Oct 2017

The right of victims to live safely in their home will be at the centre of new justice
reforms targeting domestic violence offenders.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward
has welcomed the amendment that courts must not impose a home detention
condition if there is a reasonable belief that the offender will reside with the victim of
the domestic violence offence.

Also being introduced is the presumption that domestic violence offenders will
receive prison time or a supervised sentence, with courts to now consider the safety
of the victim before imposing any community-based order.

The new presumption to be applied by the courts will ensure offenders who currently
receive unsupervised sentences will now be subject to stricter interventions from
Community Corrections.

“The most serious domestic violence offenders will still go to prison, meaning these
reforms will continue the NSW Government’s commitment to putting domestic
violence perpetrators in the centre of the frame,” Ms Goward said.

“We need victims of domestic and family violence to know that the system will help
keep them safe.”

BOCSAR’s 2016 criminal court statistics revealed that of 16,044 offenders with a
proven DV offence, only 22 per cent received a supervised or custodial sentence.

New reforms to encourage early guilty pleas will also see criminal cases resolved
faster, allowing victims to rebuild their lives.