‘Locking men up’ will not end men’s use of family violence

On 17 October, the Victorian Liberal Party announced mandatory sentencing for men who use family violence.

No to Violence do not believe that these measures will keep women and children safer.

There is evidence that incarceration without rehabilitation leads to more not less re-offending.

Jacqui Watt CEO of No to Violence states:

“There is a requirement for government policy to be arrived at in an evidence-informed manner. Policies that are not evidence-informed risk exacerbating a perpetrator’s offending and increase risk to women and children.

“No to Violence welcome the placing of family violence perpetrators at the centre of the political discussion, however we have concerns about a blunt law and order approach to family violence offending.

“This approach discourages women from coming forward for support. This puts women and their children at further risk of harm.”

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence tasked the Sentencing Advisory Council with examining the “desirability and methods for accommodating swift, certain and fair justice”. The council concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a “swift, certain, and fair” approach to sentencing of family violence offenders in the Victorian context and recommended against implementing such a strategy.

Jacqui Watt continues:

“We encourage government action that will increase perpetrator accountability and provide perpetrators with opportunities to change their behaviour.

“As the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence has made clear, responding to family violence is a shared responsibility across government, community organisations, the criminal justice system, and the wider community.

“We do not believe that these measures will keep women and children safer in the long run.”

[ENDS]

Media enquiries:
Contact Jacqui Watt on 0429 030 318, or Jackson Fairchild on 0416 077 723 or Camille Gierck on 0401 337 241
Further interview and photo opportunities also possible on request.