Tougher new laws to make community safer


The Minns Labor government is increasing community protection, particularly for those people in NSW experiencing domestic and family violence, by strengthening the laws governing serious strangulation offences.

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The NSW Government will introduce amendments to the Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Act 2006 [CHRO Act] into Parliament today.

As a result of these amendments, applications will be able to be made to the Supreme Court of NSW against release or an order for strict supervision if it is believed the offender poses an unacceptable risk of committing another serious offence.

Including serious strangulation offences in the definitions of ‘serious violence offence’ and ‘serious sex offence’ will put these kinds of violent acts in the same category as other crimes like murder, manslaughter, intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm and recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Non-fatal strangulation is well known as a key marker for the escalation of violence in a domestic relationship. In particular, non-fatal strangulation in a domestic relationship is a strong indicator of future risk for serious harm and death of the victim.

The NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team report has previously stated that the research ‘demonstrates a link between strangulation and domestic homicide’ and over a quarter of intimate partner homicides involve the abuser having strangled the victim during a prior attack.

In fact prior attempted, non-lethal strangulation is one of the best predictors of the subsequent homicide of victims, with the risk of becoming an attempted homicide victim increasing by 700%, and the risk of becoming a homicide victim increasing by 800%.

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, domestic violence assaults and sexual assaults are the only 2 of the 13 major crime categories that showed an upward trend in the last 5 years, increasing by 13.5% and 29.8% respectively.

Domestic and family violence is one of the most challenging issues that NSW faces and responses are required right across the spectrum. This reform is one part of the broader work the NSW Government is doing to reduce domestic and family violence.

Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley said:

“The NSW Police and the NSW Government have a resolute commitment to reducing domestic and family violence. These amendments send a strong message to abusers.

“Strangulation and choking must be taken extremely seriously and that’s what this government is doing.

“The fact is domestic and family violence is a pervasive scourge on our society, the trauma not only impacts the victim, but their family, friends and the entire community.”

NSW Attorney General Michael Daley said:

“Reducing domestic violence is a top priority for the NSW Government. It is crucial that our legislation capture the kind of violent offending that may escalate to homicide.

“The amendments to the Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Act 2006 are informed by research that has identified patterns of behaviours committed by domestic and family violence perpetrators.

“This Bill leaves no doubt as to the gravity of serious strangulation offences and sends a strong message to offenders who continue to pose an unacceptable risk of committing a serious offence at the end of their prison sentence.

“The NSW Government is determined to strengthen protections for victims of domestic and family violence as well as the broader community.

“I thank Police and Counter-terrorism Minister Yasmin Catley and Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison for their hard work and invaluable input into these proposed new laws.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said:

“This is an important amendment to the Crimes Act to ensure that men who use violence against women are appropriately dealt with by our legal system.

“Non-fatal strangulation is a serious and violent form of intimate partner violence and victims are at elevated risk of future homicide.

“I am committed to working together with Attorney General Michael Daley and Police Minister Yasmin Catley to make sure women and children in NSW are kept safe. Together we can make NSW free from domestic and family violence.”

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