Editorial - July 6, 2016: Getting tough on repeat DV offenders

IN MY time as a journalist I have seen countless perpetrators of domestic violence pass through the justice system.

Time and again I've watched people appearing in court who have committed violent, sexual or potentially fatal crimes against a partner or family member let off with a slap on the wrist.

In Coffs Harbour last year alone, there were 487 victims of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders.

A statewide study into ADVOs by the Bureau of Crime Statistics last year showed almost 50% of perpetrators were repeat offenders, and 22% had breached an ADVO within the prior two years.

While programs to support victims and address the underlying causes of violence are paramount, zero tolerance should be shown to repeat offenders who continue to show disregard for our community.

I couldn't imagine the terror experienced by the victims, who in many cases will be haunted long after the sentence is handed down in court.

Where is the justice in that?

I would love to hear from the Advocate's readers on this issue. Should there be longer prison sentences or bigger fines for these sorts of crimes?

David Barwell

Acting Editor

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