Despite the prevalence of domestic violence in the Orange community there are still a lot of misconceptions about what happens after charges are laid says one of the region’s domestic violence experts.
Although domestic violence figures are still high, Orange bucked the regional trend in domestic violence-related assault, falling from 273 incidents in the year to September 2017 to 245 in the same period last year. It compared to a 1.5 per cent rise from 1062 to 1078 incidents for the region.
Central West Police District domestic violence liaison officer Senior Constable Granton Smith said there were still misconceptions about the judicial process.
Senior Constable Smith attends court with domestic violence victims whenever there’s an apprehended domestic violence order.
Police must apply for an ADVO unless there already is one.Central West Police District domestic violence liaison officer Senior Constable Granton Smith
He said what many people misunderstood was that not all ADVOs included conditions preventing contact between the victim and accused perpetrator.
“They can be very flexible, an ADVO at its core is just complying with the law,” he said.
“I think a lot of people will be a bit scared because they think the conditions will ensure no contact straight out of the gate.”
He said ADVOs show domestic violence perpetrators that someone is going to be watching them but further conditions can be added on a case-by-case basis.
He said another misconception was victims and perpetrators not realising that police have a responsibility to take out an ADVO whenever there is evidence of a domestic violence offence.
“Police must apply for an ADVO unless there already is one,” he said.
“It’s not [the victim’s] it’s our application.”
He said that is so perpetrators cannot pressure victims to drop an order or conditions of an order.
“I often do see people put under pressure to do things they cannot do,” he said.
Further court support is also offered by the Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Service, and the Victims and Witnesses of Crime Court Support Service, that also helps male victims.
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