Sue Moroney  | 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – 13:07

A Bill that makes domestic violence an aggravating factor at sentencing will help highlight the tragic impact offending has on victims and families, says Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney.


The Labour MP today launched the Sentencing Act (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill, saying that highlighting the harm caused by domestic violence with harsher sentences will better support victims.


“At the moment our justice system is not as responsive to the needs of domestic violence survivors as it should be,” Sue Moroney said.

“This Bill will put in place a formal record of domestic violence sentencing decisions so we can better monitor and act on domestic violence rates, given that Police recently stopped reporting these statistics in annual reports.


“This Bill offers an important safeguard to ensure the impacts of domestic violence on individuals are not overlooked.


“This kind of offending is complex and its long term impacts on victims and witnesses, mostly women and children, are severe. By amending current law we can ensure that the breadth of offences, that may involve or relate to domestic violence, are considered and used to inform sentencing.


“Domestic violence is a crime. It is an oppressive, overtly damaging feature of our society. This Bill is about taking a stand against domestic violence and highlighting the harm it causes. I look forward to commending it to the house,” Sue Moroney said.


Today’s launch is timed to coincide with the final day of Women’s Refuge Appeal Month.