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Court process 'traumatic' for family violence victims - Justice Minister

The new Justice Minister says addressing how family violence victims are dealt with by the courts is a priority for her.

The new Justice Minister says addressing how family violence victims are dealt with by the courts is a priority for her. Source: Q+A

Amy Adams says they need to look closely at protection orders, which are often breached, and she says some changes are likely.

"We need to look at whether the legislative framework is right and also whether the enforcement and application of them is working as best as it can," Ms Adams told Q A this morning.

An independent inquiry funded by businessman Sir Owen Glenn unveiled this week called for establishing a dedicated family violence court and minister, and Ms Adams says a lot of issues in the report reflect some of the things that need to happen.

Ms Adams says a key to any progress is the importance of a very co-ordinated approach.

"A lot of agencies are doing a lot of things and they need to be very, very, well co-ordinated with a single point of reference," says Ms Adams.

The minister says the most vulnerable when it comes to sexual or family violence - who tend to be women and children - need to be protected and she believes there is a lot more that can be done to support them.

"It's a terribly traumatic process to come forward as a victim...I think the court system can and must think long and hard about whether there is more it can do...at this point in time I think it is a priority to pick it up."

Ms Adams wants to look at how victims are cross examined and whether it's fair to put their sexual experience on trial and not the defendants.

"Having to relive, retell and re-experience the trauma that they've been through is awful but I think we can consider whether we can make it easier."

And Ms Adams says decisions about whether to charge alleged offenders are for the police to make and don't relate to any funding issues.

"All Crown sectors are looking very hard to see how we can deliver more efficiently within constrained baselines."