Domestic Violence in Australia has been recognised as a major public health problem and it affects all people, irrespective of economic, educational, social, geographic or racial background.
Domestic Violence Statistics
Statistics reveal that, on average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia and one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15. Violence against women in Australia is costing Australia approximately $21.7 billion each year. Whilst the statistics for violence against women in Australia are alarming, it is important to note that men can also experience, and be a victim of, domestic and family violence.
Domestic violence behaviour encompasses more than physical violence and includes behaviour that is physically or sexually abusive, emotionally or psychologically abusive, economically or financially abusive, and comprises behaviour that is threatening and coercive or in any way controls or dominates a person causing them to fear for their safety or wellbeing or that of someone else. Examples of domestic violence include the following behaviour:
- causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so;
- coercing a person to engage in sexual activity;
- damaging a person’s property;
- depriving a person of the person’s liberty;
- threatening a person with the death or injury of the person, a child of the person, or someone else;
- threatening to commit suicide or self-harm so as to torment, intimidate or frighten the person to whom the behaviour is directed;
- causing or threatening to cause the death of, or injury to, an animal, whether or not the animal belongs to the person to whom the behaviour is directed, so as to control, dominate or coerce the person;
- unauthorised surveillance of a person;
- unlawfully stalking a person.
GPS Monitoring for Domestic and Family Violence Perpetrators
The Queensland Government is committed to ending domestic and family violence and has already toughened penalties for Order breaches. Following recent legislative changes, high risk domestic and family violence perpetrators are now less likely to be granted bail.
In an effort to enhance community safety and reduce reoffending, the Queensland Government has explored options to monitor high risk perpetrators of domestic and family violence. In 2018, Queensland Courts were permitted to fit domestic violence offenders with electronic monitoring devices as part of their bail conditions. The GPS device is used to track the location of perpetrators of domestic and family violence and acts as a warning device requiring the Police or another authority to monitor the device and respond.
It is important to note that whilst the GPS tracking device is an option to improve victim safety, it is merely one part of an integrated safety plan for victims and should not be used as a stand-alone strategy. These devices are not without problems in operation and rely on line of sight to several satellites, and various environmental factors can adversely impact on the signal quality leading to a loss of signal. More importantly, given that GPS monitoring technology can only track the movements of a perpetrator, and noting that most forms of domestic and family violence are unable to be detected, the GPS device cannot be expected to keep domestic and family violence victims safe on its own and needs to be part of a wider approach.
If you have experienced or have been charged with a serious domestic violence offence, Cornerstone Law Offices can help.
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