Family Law: 18 August 2022
A Victorian Member of Parliament, Stuart Grimley has moved a motion in Parliament for the Government to create a law that makes it an offence to expose children to family violence.
This law would recognise children as victims of family violence and not just witnesses. This would allow police another avenue to use against perpetrators of family violence.
While it is a criminal offence to expose children to family violence if there is an Intervention Order in place, not all family violence incidents involve Intervention Orders. Family violence offences incidents have increased by 18% in the year to 30 June 2021, and the number of incidents where a child was recorded as present increased by 35% between 2018/19 and 2020/21.
Mr Grimley said, "The courts need to see children as victims and understand how heavily affected we are by family violence.Furthermore, he said, "Our sentencing courts treat family violence seriously and have consistently held that family violence in front of a child is an aggravating factor.€
Mr Grimley proposes the new offence of 'family violence in the presence of a child' be introduced to the Summary Offences Act, with a two-year maximum imprisonment.
Before entering Parliament, Mr Grimley worked as a Detective at the Moorabool Crime Investigation Unit and at the Footscray Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team.
If you are a victim of family violence and need urgent help, dial 000 for police assistance.
If you require family and domestic violence support please call: