The Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria) has now finished receiving written submissions and public hearings are scheduled to begin in July 2015.
The Victorian Government recently released its 63-page written submission which lists 10 "gaps" in the current family violence system that are contributing to a family violence crisis in Victoria. There is an increasing demand on the family violence support system and the Victorian Government blames the "gaps", for the system's failure to help people who have experienced family violence.
Some of the "gaps" referred to in the submission include the "inaccessible and complex justice system in which victims do not always feel safe" and the "weak legal consequences that fail to hold perpetrators to account."
A number of proposals to overcome the "gaps" have been made by the Victorian Government, including:
- The creation of a specific family violence crime (there are currently no specific offences that relate to family violence incidents).
- The establishment of a dangerous partner register to track perpetrators.
- A change to sentencing laws to make perpetrators more accountable for their actions, behaviours and crimes.
- Making the Courts more "user-friendly" for families experiencing family violence.
The Royal Commission is due to provide its report and recommendations to the Victorian Government by Monday, 29 February 2016.