Women's Refuge hails domestic violence overhaul

Man's hand holding tight woman's hand. Shallow dof.

Women's Refuge says the Government's taken the most significant step in decades towards tackling domestic violence.

CEO Ang Jury says the more than 50 changes to current legislation will help to protect victims who are currently often left at the mercy of their attackers.

Particularly now victims' safety will be at the heart of bail decisions.

"If somebody lives at an address and there is a violent offence, and then they appear in court and they're asked to provide a bail address, often there's no checking."

Ms Jury says it will also be much easier to apply for a protection order under the new laws.

"When you're in a state of crisis and some distress and you're confronted with a stack of paper that's full of very impenetrable jargon, people just walk away from it."

The changes include the creation of two new offences: non-fatal strangulation and assault on a family member.

The punishment for common assault will be beefed up with tougher sentences, and coercion to marry will be criminalised.

Those who commit crimes while the subject of a protection order will also face tougher penalties.

All family violence offending will be flagged on all criminal records so perpetrators are easily identified by the courts and police.