Published: 25 February 2016
Author: Nicole Elliott

Royal Commission sparks a spike in intervention orders

With the Royal Commission into Family Violence set to hand down its findings next month, Stringer Clark’s family law team is reporting a spike in Intervention Orders.

Prior to the Royal Commission, when family law clients came through the door, there weren’t usually Intervention Orders in place.

But, now, about nine out of 10 of our clients have Intervention Orders.

There appears to be an obvious link between the larger numbers of Intervention Orders being granted by the courts and the work of the Commission in generating media exposure and higher levels of awareness of family violence.

Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence was launched in February last year and received nearly 1000 written submissions. The Commission hosted 44 group sessions and held 25 days of hearings with 220 witnesses.

The Victorian Government set aside $40 million to establish the Commission and recently agreed to extend its reporting date by one month because of the vast amount of material that had to be gone through. The findings are now due on 29 March 2016. The Andrew’s Government has agreed to adopt any recommendations made Commission. 

The Commission has done a great job tacking complex issue and hopefully a lot of good comes from it.

Family violence is certainly more recognised now, giving victims the courage to come out. We’re living in a society that is adapting and we’re recognising domestic violence more and taking appropriate actions to keep people safe.

Stringer Clark has recently included domestic violence leave in its Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. It’s great to see businesses taking a stand against family violence and the effects it has on individuals and the community.

Late last year it was announced Victorian public sector workers will, for the first time, be entitled to family violence leave to help victims maintain stable employment.

Nurses, teachers and other public servants facing family violence will be able to apply for the new form of leave under a clause to be built in all future Victorian public sector enterprise agreements. This is a big step forward when it comes to supporting victims to rebuild their lives.

Unions are also playing a big part in promoting the "not violent, not silent" message which is great to see. We all have a part to play in curbing family violence.

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