Throughout the 1980s, every Australian state or territory moved to enact legislation with the purpose of protecting women from intimate partner violence through the provision of a civil court order, or Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPOs).
Enforcement of DVPOs, including across state and territory borders, is the primary focus of this project, which draws on empirical research conducted in 2014-16. The research highlights that issues that compromise victim safety do not occur in legislation, but in its implementation and enforcement. Further, inconsistencies and competing interests at the intersections of domestic and family violence, child protection, and family law remain an impediment to effective implementation and enforcement of DVPOs. Effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme, a national information system to enable courts and police in different jurisdictions to share relevant information, will be compromised without the removal of inconsistencies, along with the safety of women and their children being given the greatest priority.