Monday 4 December 2017
Putting Victims First
- Victims first clause for relevant legislative changes
- Increasing assistance support periods to up to 15 years
- Victims will be heard and respected under a Liberal Nationals Government
For far too long, victims have been treated as second class citizens in a justice system that has been all about defending the rights of criminals, irrespective of the harm and damage they have caused to their victims.
This needs to change.
A Liberal Nationals Government led by Matthew Guy will put victims first by ensuring they have a voice in future justice legislation.
To effect this change, we’ll introduce Victims of Crime Compatibility Statements, that will serve as a ‘victims first’ clause, to all relevant future Victorian justice-related legislation.
Victims will be consulted and have input to the victims first clauses via the existing Victims of Crime Consultative Committee.
In addition to this, a Liberal Nationals Government will extend the rights of victims of crime to make applications for variations of financial assistance from 6 years to up to 15 years. This will apply in exceptional cases (if medically supported) and will be 10 years in all other cases.
Further, in exceptional circumstances applications for secondary awards of financial assistance will be able to be made up to 10 years from the date of an original award.
Many victims continue to suffer long-term trauma including anxiety, depression and PTSD as a result of their harrowing crime experiences and require counselling, support services and treatment well beyond the existing maximum financial assistance and payment period of 6 years.
A common complaint of many victims of crime and advocacy groups is that the current 6 year maximum is simply not sufficient to provide appropriate continued support and recovery relief to many victims.
These policies have been formed in consultation with the Liberal Nationals Victims of Crime Justice Reference Group.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“The Liberal Nationals will give victims a voice and put them front and centre when considering reforms to the justice system.
“For too long, victims and their rights have been put second to those of criminals – under a government I lead this will change.
“A government I lead will put victims first.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Police, Edward O’Donohue:
“Under Daniel Andrews, those who commit crimes have greater protections than those who they harm and this needs to stop.
“We need to fix our system to ensure we look after our vulnerable victims of the crime wave Daniel Andrews has let engulf our state.”