© 2018 Take It Seriously
We are the first organisation in Australia to solely advocate for victims & survivors of nonviolent abuse.
We are registered with the Australian Charities & Not-For-Profits Commission.
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The Solution

When we talk about making nonviolent abuse criminal, there are an endless variety of models of justice that we could borrow from or apply here in Victoria and eventually across Australia.

The Proposed Model

 

All forms of nonviolent abuse identified under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 are added to the Criminal Code as individual offences carrying sentences of up to five years' imprisonment.

1. Offenders brought to the attention of Police for the first time with no prior convictions of violent offences:

Police may issue a Caution and/or refer the offender to the Diversionary Program.

2. Offenders brought to the attention of Police for the first time or any time thereafter in the case where the offender has prior convictions of violent offences:

Police must refer the offender to court.

3. Offenders brought to the attention of Police for a repeated time with no prior convictions of violent offences:

Police must refer the offender to the Diversionary Program.

4.Offenders brought to the attention of Police for a third time or any time thereafter or offenders who have completed the Diversionary Program:

Police must refer the offender to court.

The Diversionary Program

The Diversionary Program requires offenders to complete: 

- Three sessions with a Psychologist;

- One group session with other offenders;

- Enrolment with an ongoing social support program with a non-profit that works with offenders.

- One follow-up appointment with a Social Worker.

Offenders who do not complete 75% of the Diversionary Program within a specific time frame must face court.

This model borrows from diversionary models of justice Police already use across Australia, very similar to that offered to young offenders caught with drugs for the first time as opposed to the court process.

Proactive Not Reactive

This model uses the existence of criminal offences as an opportunity to bring Police into a situation to establish a relationship with survivors and to identify abusers who may commit more serious crimes.

Interventionist

Police will be equipped with skills and tools to steer abusers away from escalating to violence by utilising any of the various options of public notice, financial penalty, and Diversionary Program attendance.

Deterrence

Imprisonment remains a serious deterrent but only as a final resort for abusers who refuse to rehabilitate and refuse to take ownership of the consequences of their actions, and who are therefore genuinely not safe out in the wider community.