Review of the Implementation of the Family Violence Act 2016 (ACT)

Lorana BARTELS, Patricia Easteal

Research output: Book/ReportReports


This review of the Act aims to identify:
• whether the changes brought about by this legislation are operating as intended;
• the extent to which the amended Act has effected cultural or systemic change; and
• the potential for further legislative changes to support best practice in preventing and responding to FV.

Specifically, the review includes an examination of stakeholders’ perceptions concerning the implementation of the Act, including whether police-issued safety notices (PISNs) should be implemented in the ACT and whether the after-hours orders are sufficient to offer protection to victims of FV. We are also interested in stakeholders’ views about the need for other potential reforms to more effectively prevent and respond to FV. These include, but are not limited to:
• the types of FV covered under the Act;
• support services;
• extending protected confidences similar to the protections relating to sexual offence communications;
• evidentiary issues relating to victims;
• presumptions under the Bail Act 1992 (ACT);
• reforms to suspended sentences;
• the extension of final FVOs; and
• information sharing.

By gathering relevant stakeholders’ observations, experiences and ideas about the Act, we aim to provide an informed guide for ACT law- and policy-makers to contribute to ‘best practice’ FV legislation and practice which provides victims with better protection and facilitates improved cooperation between stakeholders, which would benefit both victims and the community in general. Accordingly, the benefits of the research will flow across the ACT community. However, as FV is more commonly experienced by women and children, it is anticipated that they will be the particular beneficiaries of the research, which accords with the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.

In undertaking this review, we acknowledge that FV is a vast and complex issue to explore and this project required a tight scope, seeking only to investigate some parts of the jigsaw.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherThe Australian National University
Number of pages136
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020


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