The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia recently released their discussion paper on Enhancing Family and Domestic Violence Laws.
They found many problems with the current state of WA's laws pertaining to domestic violence, and ended up with 53 proposals that included reviews of current legislation and additional legislation.
Some of their key findings are:
1. Police could be better trained in handling matters of domestic violence.
2. Disabled women are the most vulnerable in the community.
Women with an intellectual disability are 10 times more likely to be assaulted than other women and 90% of women with an intellectual disability have been sexually abused.
3. Psychological and emotional abuse
including put downs, degradation, verbal abuse, threats to hurt others, harassment and stalking should all be looked at as domestic violence.
4. Family and domestic violence needs to be treated as a criminal offence under the Criminal Code
5. Women and Children are the most affected by domestic violence.
6. It is well-known that Aboriginal women are more likely to be victims of family and domestic violence than non-Aboriginal women
(Statistics from the mid-1990s estimated that Aboriginal women are 45 times more likely to be victims of family and domestic violence than non-Aboriginal women). Further, Aboriginal women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family and domestic violence than non- Aboriginal women; nine times more likely to be the victim of domestic homicide; and 40% of Aboriginal children ‘grow up witnessing family and domestic violence’. Aboriginal people experience additional complications and barriers to reporting family and domestic violence including fear of authorities (eg, fear that children will be removed by child protection agencies); distrust of the legal system (and fear that the perpetrator will be imprisoned); and a lack of ability or willingness to leave family, culture and community.
7. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are also affected by domestic violence
But struggle to report it due to fear of prejudice and stereotypical responses from mainstream agencies and limited accommodation options.
8. Stalking legislation might now need to include "cyber stalking".
[button link="http://www.lrc.justice.wa.gov.au/_files/P104_FDV-DP.pdf" color="default"]Click here to read the paper in full[/button]
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or bullying, please reach out and contact Chryslis
- Office - (08) 9938 0750
- 24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Free Call - 1800 016 789
- Women's Refuge (08) 9964 2173