Today, the Victorian Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy, opened the first Family Violence Court, which the Victorian State Government says is a response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations.
The specialist Family Violence Court, according to the Victorian Attorney-General, will be supported by family violence services for families and mandated counselling programs in an effort to better behavioural change programs.
In further response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, a large team of specially trained magistrates, staff, family violence practitioners and relevant stakeholders / services have been organised and will work together to deliver this much needed response.
Ms Hennessy wen't on to say:
“Additionally, the court will provide a culturally appropriate response for Aboriginal families living with family violence, recognising the devastating impact family violence has on the Aboriginal community..."
Following the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Labor Government invested a whopping $130 million.
The government has also invested more than $2.9 billion towards implementing recommendations, which is aimed at ending family violence and supporting victims and extending legal services across the State of Victoria.
Ms Hennessy further indicated that:
“...the establishment of a dedicated family violence court... will transform the way the court approaches family violence matters...” “We don’t want to extend the trauma that victim survivors of family violence have to endure. That’s why we’re delivering court infrastructure that supports their ability to access justice without fear.”
The Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Gabrielle Williams added:
“This was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission and will ensure people who have lived through family violence feel safe and supported as they go through the court system and hold perpetrators to account.”
The Shepparton Court is the first of five Specialist Family Violence Courts opening across the State of Victoria, with courts at Ballarat, Moorabbin, Frankston and Heidelberg set to be operational over the next year.
What is now apparent is that the other State's and Territories need to follow suit.
© Scott A. Green, Associate Solicitor