Australian Domestic Violence Protection Order Legislation: A Comparative Quantitative Content Analysis of Victim Safety Provisions
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In Australia, protection orders are a key legal response to domestic violence, and are often viewed as a way of providing for victim safety. For instance, recently the joint Australian and New South Wales Law Reform Commissions recommended that a common core purpose of all state and territory domestic violence legislation should be 'to ensure or maximise the safety and protection of persons who fear or experience family violence' (2010:Recommendation 7-4). Drawing and building upon prior research in Australia and the United States ('US'), this paper uses comparative quantitative content analysis to assess the victim safety focus of domestic violence protection order legislation in each Australian state and territory. The findings of this analysis show that the Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria 'stand out' from the other jurisdictions, having the highest victim safety focus in their legislation. However, there remains sizeable scope for improvement in all Australian jurisdictions, in terms of the victim safety focus of their legislative provisions and considerations of legislative inconsistency between jurisdictions.
Current Issues in Criminal Justice
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