Any changes to laws made to protect people at risk from domestic and family violence must be able to assist people from communities who may need additional support.
People who may need additional support include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Children and young people
- People living with a disability
- People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- People from LGBTIQ+ communities.
Considering the specific needs of the person at risk is very important when seeking their consent or providing or requesting information of another agency to protect their safety.
We are proposing that additional guidelines are developed along with the legislation to explain what should be considered when assisting a person at risk who may require specific support.
For example, we are aware that the agency of people with disability is often compromised and that we will need to protect their agency and privacy.
This includes when seeking consent from a person with cognitive impairment and how information is managed and shared to ensure people with disability are empowered to be owners of their own information.
Communication between agencies may raise concerns for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. For this community, previous experiences in another country, or in Australia as a recent migrant, may lead to mistrust of government and institutions. This includes people on temporary visas.
People from LGBTIQ+ communities may have concerns about the impact of agencies providing information about their sexual orientation, sex or gender identity. The LGBTIQ+ community may also have concerns that agencies might discriminate against them or not understand their needs.
Children and young people also experience domestic and family violence as people at risk in their own right. We know children and young people often have different experiences to adults. It is important children and young people’s views are considered and understood in the context of their age and development. Children and young people can also be limited in their ability to give consent.
We acknowledge that we have work to do to support everyone in the community to feel safe and supported to engage with domestic and family violence support services.