Victims of domestic violence now have a new layer of protection thanks to a law change which makes all Domestic Violence Orders issued anywhere in Australia to automatically be recognised and enforceable nationwide.
Cassandra Pullos says the new National Domestic Violence Order Scheme (NDVOS) is a landmark step in the ongoing campaign against DV.
She says the previous system was confusing as a DVO issued in Queensland was not automatically recognised in other states or territories.
Cassandra says this had now changed and means domestic violence victims will still be covered by court orders if they cross state or territory borders.
The Council of Australian Governments in late 2015 agreed each jurisdiction should introduce model laws to automatically enforce domestic violence court orders across state and territory borders.
However until recently the scheme was not fully co-ordinated nationwide.
Cassandra says it now means DV perpetrators will be held accountable for breaches of domestic violence orders (DVO’s, also known as apprehended violence orders in other states) even if they occur in a jurisdiction outside where the order was originally granted.
“It’s about making DV offenders fully accountable for their behaviour. Existing state and territory laws to protect victims and affected family members from domestic violence have not changed. Local police will still enforce the conditions regardless of where the DVO was issued.”
“However prior to 25 November 2017, DVOs applied only in the state or territory where they were issued. Now they automatically apply everywhere,” she says.
For orders made before 25 November, if you are planning to travel or move to a state or territory different to where your order was issued, you can have your order “declared” a national DVO. This means it can be enforced in all states and territories in Australia.
In Queensland, you can do this by making an application to a Magistrates Court using a form available on the Courts website (see link below). You can also apply to a court in another state or territory.
Cassandra says since 25 November 2017 anyone travelling to or moving to a state or territory different from where they originally received their DVO does not have to do anything as it will apply in all Australian states and territories so the holder will be automatically protected.
“If you want to vary the conditions, named persons or term of your DVO, you can do this in Queensland by making an application to a Magistrates Court,” she says.
Link to Queesnaldn Courts National DVO Order scheme: http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/going-to-court/domestic-violence/national-domestic-violence-order-scheme