Northern Rivers Echo
I was pleased to announce this week, with Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, the Richmond Local Area Command has been chosen as a site in the next roll out of the Safer Pathways program, following representations I made on behalf of the Northern Rivers Womenís Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service.
Safer Pathway brings together local representatives including Police, Health, Corrections, Family and Community Services and Education along with local specialist non-government domestic and family violence services, creating a streamlined, integrated referral pathway for victims who are Ďat threatí or Ďat serious threatí to their life, health or safety.
It aims to ensure every domestic violence victim across NSW receives a consistent and effective response regardless of where they live.
We know that having the right support in place is vital. That is why I am so pleased that victims needing help will have the tailored support through Safer Pathway to ensure their safety and recovery from abusive relationships
Victims of domestic violence in NSW will receive greater protection under proposed changes to the state's residential tenancies laws.
Currently victims of domestic violence who are on a fixed rental lease are required to give 14 daysí notice to their landlord and may be liable for expenses. They are also required to provide a final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) which can take months to obtain.
The proposed changes will allow tenants to terminate residential tenancy agreements immediately by providing evidence of domestic violence through a provisional, interim or final AVO, or court order which can be obtained quickly without court hearings.
The new laws will also ensure domestic violence victims are not penalised for property damaged or rental debt caused by a violent partner. Landlords and agents will be prohibited from listing victims on tenancy databases that hold such information so they wonít be penalised in future rental applications.
The new laws are expected to be introduced into NSW Parliament during the first half of 2017.