(Australian Associated Press)
NSW authorities hope a new app will help hold domestic violence perpetrators to account and increase compliance with court-ordered protection orders.
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman has launched the government-funded Avow app as part of a package of products to help people understand their legal obligations under an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order.
The app provides information to perpetrators about the consequences of breaching an ADVO, which can limit their contact with their victim to ensure they do not stalk or intimidate them.
“The scourge of domestic violence needs to be tackled both by protecting victims and by helping perpetrators to stop their abusive behaviour,” Mr Speakman said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Avow app puts information perpetrators need to comply with their ADVO at their fingertips.”
The app includes information about ADVOs and court processes; features that allow users to add their ADVO conditions and plan for how they will comply with them; and a directory and links to support services.
A new NSW Police referral card will also be used to promote the app and encourage perpetrators to contact the Men’s Referral Service that can put them in touch with support, including Men’s Behaviour Change programs.
Police Assistant Commissioner Leanne McCusker said police responded to nearly 400 domestic violence incidents across NSW every day.
“Last year alone we identified nearly 17,000 breaches of ADVO incidents,” she said.
“The Avow App will give perpetrators the information they need to ensure they are abiding by the requirements of the ADVO, and they can access referral pathways to get the help they need to change their behaviour.”
Legal Aid NSW chief executive Brendan Thomas said “while nothing beats in-person legal advice, the app will serve as an invaluable reference tool that will help to keep victims safe and perpetrators out of jail”.
The Avow app was developed by the Department of Communities and Justice with the Department of Customer Service and Miroma Project Factory.