Breaches of family violence intervention orders skyrocket in Victoria

An analysis by the Herald Sun reveals that the state’s magistrates’ courts dealt with 11,917 offences of breaching family violence intervention orders last financial year alone.

That was up from 10,601 offences the year before, and 7493 the year before that.

Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel said there needed to be a review of the justice system, including bail laws and the effectiveness of intervention orders.

Ms Daniel said better data was needed to identify gaps, and called for criminal consequences to deter violent online porn and misogynistic social media influencers.

She said greater investment in frontline services, including affordable housing for women escaping violent relationships, was also needed in the immediate term.

“The longer term goal is cultural change and a society that is safe and respectful,” Ms Daniel said.

Leading violence against women expert, Prof Kate Fitz-Gibbon, said: “the justice system is failing victims of all forms of gender based violence”.

Prof Fitz-Gibbon said bail and intervention order shortfalls orders were part of the problem, but the entire system was failing to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators to account. ”

“These deaths are preventable and we need to ensure we have the data-led insights at hand to prevent them,” the Monash University professor said.

“There is a need to ensure domestic and family violence risk assessment and safety planning processes for victim-survivors are as effective as possible, and that we have a robust suite of perpetrator interventions.”

Prof Fitz-Gibbon called for national leadership to boost co-ordination between states, including the sharing of vital family violence data, as well as greater investment in early intervention and prevention.

She said the federal government’s $2.2bn commitment over five years to the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children was “unprecedented” but “stretches far too thin”.

“This is not just a federal government budget ask – all states and territory governments committed to the National Plan and it is essential that their commitment is evident in the state budgets,” she said.

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