Thursday, 19 February 2009

NT has made non-reporting of domestic violence an offence

It is now an offence in the NT not to report serious domestic violence. It is no longer an option there to remain silent.

Here is the media release from the NT Government:

18 February 2009
World First For Mandatory Reporting of Domestic Violence
In a world first, the reporting of domestic violence will become mandatory, following the passage of groundbreaking new laws in Parliament today.

“Domestic violence tears families apart, and women and children are often the most vulnerable,” Chief Minister Paul Henderson said.

“The Northern Territory Government is saying enough is enough and this will not be tolerated anymore.”

The laws will protect women and children from family violence. The NT Government will commit $15 million over four years to support more crisis accommodation, increased counselling services and continuing public education campaigns surrounding the new law.

Minister for Children and Families Malarndirri McCarthy said a major advertising campaign would be launched later this year to inform the community about the new reporting laws for domestic and family violence.

“About half the assaults in the Territory each year are cases of domestic violence. We’re showing leadership in tackling domestic violence by introducing these unprecedented laws,” Ms McCarthy said.

“We are sending a message to the community that abuse against women and children is unacceptable. A big part of the education campaign involves men spreading the message that domestic violence will not be tolerated.”

Attorney-General Delia Lawrie said today’s passage of the legislation was a major step towards breaking the cycle of violence against women and children.

“The Henderson Government wants to change society’s attitudes and make a difference for all Territorians now and in the future.”

The law requires all adults to report domestic violence if they believe another person’s life is in danger or they believe a person has caused, or is about to cause, serious harm to another person in a domestic relationship.

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