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Office for Women

Law Reform

New South Australian domestic violence laws come into effect

As of January 2019 new laws targeting the perpetrators of domestic violence have come into effect, giving authorities stronger tools to tackle repeat and serious offenders. A new stand-alone criminal offence of strangulation will come into force as well as tougher penalties for repeated breaches of intervention orders.

Rape and sexual assault

In 2008 Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and Evidence Act 1929 were amended to:

  • Provide a clearer definition of sexual offences, including rape; persistent sexual abuse of a child; and consent;
  • amend judicial warnings in relation to children's evidence; and
  • provide special arrangements for vulnerable witness's, protection of witness's, and provides the courts with the ability to audio record evidence, and include evidence taken in earlier proceedings.

Domestic violence - intervention orders

Legislation was passed in Parliament in 2009 to give police and courts greater powers to prevent and address domestic abuse. The Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 protects people from abuse by restricting what the perpetrator does as well as by requiring the perpetrator to work towards rehabilitationFor more information about Intervention Orders visit the Legal Services Commission of South Australia website.

Protections for renters

On 10 December 2015 changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 came into effect. These changes provide greater protections to victims of domestic violence who rent their homes. More information about the changes can be found on the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) website.

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme

In November 2017, the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme was launched. In South Australia, domestic violence orders are called 'Intervention Orders'. You can find out more about these here:

In the past, domestic violence orders only applied in the state or territory in which they were issued or registered. This has now changed.

As of 25 November 2017, the implementation of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme means that all DV orders issued from this date are now automatically nationally recognised and enforceable. If you have a current DV order that was issued prior to 25 November 2017, you can apply to the court to have it nationally recognised.

For more information visit the website of the Attorney-General's Office, or see the below brochures.

Page last updated : 03 Jun 2022

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Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
06 Nov 2023
Printed on:
22 Feb 2024
The Office for Women website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia Licence. © 2016