Focus should be on improving police practice and not a stand-alone offence



DV Vic is concerned by the Victorian Liberal’s promise to introduce a stand-alone strangulation offence.

A strangulation offence may provide greater safety for survivors of family violence, but, on its own, it will not address the gaps in policing, duty failures, poor attitudes and lack of knowledge about family violence that still exist in some parts of Victoria Police.

We support police to continue their focus on improving police practice in these areas and congratulate them on improvements to date.

We know other states have introduced or are considering a strangulation offence and support any measures that will strengthen criminal justice responses to family violence, particularly when strangulation by a perpetrator of family violence is a serious risk factor for more severe violence or homicide.

Victoria is set apart from other states however because we have the benefit of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

DV Vic CEO Fiona McCormack said:

The Royal Commission provided us with a road-map for better protection and safety for women and children without the need for a new offence.

We need to encourage Victoria Police and all sides of government to focus their attention on the legislative and police practice reform that is already underway. The improvement of current processes needs to be completed before introducing any new offences.

Women’s lives will not be saved by one-off solutions. We need a holistic, comprehensive and long-term approach to keep women and children safe.

 

For more information or comment from CEO Fiona McCormack please contact the Media Team media@dvvic.org.au 0433 760 426