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Tougher domestic violence laws

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The changes to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 come into action today, with Sergeants and those higher in the ranks of the NSW Police Force granted authorisation to issue the provisional restraining orders.

Police can also remove an offender from the scene immediately if it ensures safety for the victim.

Previously police were only able to restrict offenders of domestic violence by applying for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) at a court registrar or authorised justice- often a lengthy process.

The changes today will give victims of domestic violence instant protection while seeking further legal and social services after an incident.

"Most ADVOs are sought outside of business hours but victims can be assured that the process of obtaining emergency protection will be swift - regardless of what time the domestic incident occurs," NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard said.

Victims are then able to seek permanent protection through an ADVO by taking the allegations to a local court within 28 days.

"Defendants can make an application to the court to challenge or vary a police-issued ADVO. Interim and final ADVOs will still only be issued by a court," Mr Hazzard said.

Domestic violence across the nation is an issue The Weekly highlighted in our March issue, when we joined forces with White Ribbon and actress Rachael Taylor in a female-led campaign against domestic violence.

Taylor, who became a victim herself, wrote of her harrowing experience.

"One woman per week in Australia dies at the hands of her current or former partner," Rachael wrote in the magazine. "I don’t think any woman thinks they will become an addition to these statistics. I didn't."

AFL player and Australian of the year, Adam Goodes told The Weekly in April about an abusive relationship between his stepfather and mother which would keep him awake at night as a boy.

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