Apprehended violence legislation in NSW has been further amended.
Further provisions of the Stronger Communities Legislation Amendment (Domestic Violence) Act 2020 commenced on 27 March 2021.
Duration of ADVOs
Where a defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment which is to be served in a correctional centre, the apprehended violence legislation now requires the court to specify that any related apprehended violence order (ADVO) will be in force for a period of two years longer than the sentence imposed. That does not apply if the court otherwise orders, or if the offender is under 18 years of age. The term of imprisonment refers to the full sentence imposed by the court, including non-parole and parole periods. The additional two years is calculated with reference to the total sentence imposed by the court at the time that the ADVO is made.
The apprehended violence legislation has also been amended in relation to harming, or threatening to harm, animals belonging to or in the possession of a protected person.
Conduct that causes a reasonable apprehension of harm to animals belonging to or in the possession of the protected person is now within the definition of ‘intimidation’.
A person who engages in that conduct is guilty of an offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or 50 penalty units or both.
The change to the definition of ‘intimidation’ means that harm to animals belonging to or in the possession of the protected person is now included in the mandatory prohibition in every AVO which prohibits damage or destroying property. This amendment was based on evidence that threatening, injuring or killing family pets is a tactic used to control and coerce partners or other family members in the context of domestic violence.
New standard order
There is a consequential amendment under the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Standard Orders) Regulation 2021, which also commenced on 27 March 2021. This amends the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Regulation 2019 to include in the standard orders a prohibition on harming any animals owned by or in the possession of the person in need of protection under an order.
By Lawyers Apprehended violence orders (NSW) publication has been updated accordingly.