Pru Goward to head domestic violence taskforce

A new taskforce will look at sentencing for domestic violence offenders following the government's introduction of mandatory sentencing for assault in public places.

Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward said she would chair the new taskforce that would look at whether "current sentencing options for perpetrators of domestic violence are effective, reduce recidivism, reflect the seriousness of the crime, and reflect community expectations".

“The taskforce will also study whether the current system provides appropriate support for those reporting and witnessing domestic and family violence, and also the link between alcohol and domestic violence," she said.

“How alcohol contributes to the frequency and severity of domestic violence is a question we need to answer. Whether it is violence on the street, or violence in the home, a woman has the right to feel safe,” Ms Goward said.

Ms Goward said MPs Bryan Doyle and Natasha Maclaren-Jones would join experts, including Tracy Howe of Domestic Violence NSW and Karen Willis of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, in examining ways to drive down violence in NSW homes.

She said the new taskforce would consider:

    * Current reporting, conviction and sentencing patterns for domestic violence offences;

    * Experiences of other jurisdictions;

    * The Joint Select Committee Inquiry on sentencing of child sexual offenders;

    * Sentencing for alcohol-related violence; and

    * Outcomes of consultation with stakeholders.

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