As of the 1 August 2023, there have been significant changes to the Domestic Violence legislation in Queensland.
The major changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Legislation includes amendments to the Criminal Code, the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, the Evidence Act 1977, Penalties and Sentences Act 1972 and the Youth Justices Act 1992.
Specifically, there were changes to the following, amongst others:-
- The meaning of Domestic Violence was updated to include a pattern of behaviour rather than just specific events. By broadening the definition of Domestic Violence it means that victims of economic abuse, who have been controlled or restricted from accessing financial resources and technology facilitated abuse can now also seek protection under the Domestic Violence Act.
- The court has a presumption that there should only be one Domestic Violence Order in place and, as such when it comes to Cross Applications, the Court will be required to determine which person is more in need of protection in the relationship. However, the Court can make two Orders if there are exceptional circumstances. These cross applications must be heard at the same time in the same Court.
- The Court must now also look at the Domestic Violence history rather than individual acts of Domestic Violence. Whilst the Court does not have to consider the Respondent’s Domestic Violence history, the Court is now obliged to consider whether there is an ongoing pattern of Domestic Violence which would fall into the category of coercive control. Coercive Control is a pattern of control and manipulative behaviours within a relationship.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with a Domestic Violence matter, please contact us.