A new Bill providing increased protection for children and families at risk of domestic violence should be passed, according to the Family Law Practitioners' Association of Queensland (FLPA).
The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Bill 2011, which is currently before State Parliament, gives a broader definition of domestic violence to reflect all forms of abuse, including financial abuse.
FLPA president Deborah Awyzio said the association is supportive of the Bill and also supports an increase in penalties for breaching domestic violence orders.
"This Bill is an important step in addressing domestic violence which can have devastating harmful and emotional effects on individuals, families and children," she said.
"Domestic violence victims are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and in the worst of cases, suicide."
In its submission on the proposed Act in 2008, the FLPA made numerous recommendations that have been included in the Bill, including changing the onus for consent orders.
"The Bill acknowledges our recommendation that arrangements for domestic violence orders be made by consent without the court having to make a finding that domestic violence has occurred," said Awyzio.
"Domestic violence legislation was first introduced to Queensland in 1989 and this Bill is an important step in updating the law to protect individuals who are at risk."