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Family Violence Court

Newsflash: From 1 July 2015, the Family Violence Court will no longer be taking any new matters and will be gradually replaced with new 'Family Violence Support Lists' in the Magistrate’s Court of Western Australia. Commencing at "launch locations" of the six metropolitan Magistrates Courts, and at the Geraldton Magistrates Court, the new listing arrangements aim to ensure that all VRO breaches and serious assaults in family violence circumstances are heard on the same day each week.

This will allow service providers from WA Police, Department for Child Protection and Family Support, Department of Corrective Services and the Victim Support Service to provide specialist advice and support to the List. These lists are currently being built, and further details will be provided soon.

Family Violence Courts focus on the safety of victims and seek to address the causal factors of an offender’s violent behaviour.

Family Violence Courts aim to break the cycle of family violence by providing the option of programs to address the offender's violent behaviour before sentencing.

The courts can produce better outcomes for victims of family violence and help reduce the damaging inter-generational and societal effects that family violence causes.

Participating in the Family Violence Court

Offenders are only eligible for the Family Violence Court case management program if they admit to their actions by pleading guilty, which demonstrates a willingness to address their behaviour.

Following a guilty plea, the dedicated Community Justice Services officer conducts further assessment to identify the offender’s level of willingness to address their behaviour and the level of risk that they pose to the victim and community.

This is carried out in a more thorough process of interviewing, harm assessment, case needs assessment and spousal assault risk assessment. Once this is completed, referrals to specialised intervention programs are then carried out.

The success or otherwise of offenders engaged in programs designed to address their behaviour is taken into account by the judiciary when they are sentenced at the completion of the court based regime.

Offenders may enter the Family Violence Court program by either being bailed directly to appear in the dedicated court by police or by being referred to the court upon pleading guilty in the Magistrates Court.

How Family Violence Courts work

The court process operates on a collaborative case management model involving the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Corrective Services, Western Australia Police and Department for Child Protection.

The Family Violence Court Case Management model involves:

  • Early review by the integrated case management team to assess an individual’s suitability for inclusion in the court case management process.
  • Deferral of sentencing to enable the offender to participate in an identified family and domestic perpetrators program and the case management process
  • Once accepted into the Family and Domestic Violence Court case management process, the offender is subject to ongoing case management and review by the integrated case management team. This involves:

    • a progress review by the integrated case management team
    • the offender appearing in court before the family and domestic violence magistrate. A community justice services (CJS) officer also attends the court.

      The CJS represents the integrated case management team and reports the offender’s progress in case management and the perpetrator program.
    • all relevant agencies in the integrated case management process as it gives a holistic review of the individual’s progress.

The Family Violence Court provides customised programs and support to meet the needs of Aboriginal people and other cultural groups. The court engages with existing support services located throughout the metropolitan regions

Family Violence Service

Each of the Family Violence Courts is supported by a Family Violence Service which provides support and advice to victims of family violence.

All Family Violence Courts provide services and programs that are culturally appropriate for Aboriginal people.

Each court also has a Family Violence Support Service which can provide:

  • referrals that allow victims access to counselling, crisis care and health services
  • help with violence restraining order applications and hearings
  • information on safety planning, victim support, court processes and family violence services
  • help with victim impact statements.

Enquiries regarding the Family Violence Courts can be made by e-mailing

Contact details

Armadale Family Violence Court
Armadale Court House
109 Jull Street
Phone: (08) 9399 0722

Fremantle Family Violence Court
8 Holdsworth Street
Phone: (08) 9431 0324
Fax: (08) 9335 9783

Joondalup Family Violence Court
21 Reid Promenade
Phone: (08) 9400 0707
Fax: (08) 9400 0728

Midland Family Violence Court
Midland Court House
24 Spring Park Road
Phone: (08) 9250 0229
Fax: (08) 9274 6676

Perth Family Violence Court
501 Hay Street
Phone: (08) 9425 2459
Fax: (08) 9425 2465

Rockingham Family Violence Court
Whitfield Street
Phone: (08) 9592 4018
Fax: (08) 9527 9280

Last updated: 1-Sep-2015

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