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​No more excuses- ADVOs now in plain English

Issued: Thursday, 24 November 2016

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​New Plain English Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) will roll out statewide on 3 December so perpetrators have no excuses for not understanding the orders, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton announced today.

"On the eve of White Ribbon Day, these new ADVOs will help break the cycle of violence by using clear and simple language so there is no excuse for breaching the order," Ms Upton said.

"We have removed all the complex legal jargon and spelled out a defendant's obligations in Plain English, so they can no longer claim they didn't understand the meaning or consequences of the ADVO.

"The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has found four out of five ADVOs put a stop to violence, intimidation and harassment, and the new ADVOs are designed to increase compliance, improve enforcement and reduce pressure on the court system."

"Even so, any breach poses an unacceptable risk to victims, as well as wasting the time of front line police and courts."

The new ADVO is also being translated into 29 different languages to assist people whose first language is not English.

In addition, the penalties for breaching an order, including up to two years in prison, have been moved to the top of the document so it's now the first thing perpetrators see.

Chief Executive Officer of White Ribbon Australia Libby Davies welcomed the introduction of Plain English ADVOs as a critical step to strengthen the safety of women.

"ADVOs are powerful tools but must be easily accessible and understood to ensure they are effective. We commend the NSW Government on this initiative."

In addition, the NSW Government's recent changes to ADVOs means final ADVO applications can be determined even if the victim doesn't come to court, they will protect a victim's current partner if they are being harassed by the victim's ex-partner, and will stop self-represented defendants from personally cross-examining child witnesses during ADVO applications.