Stalking Consultation Paper

Questions

1 What are the factors that influence whether people who experience stalking report their experiences to police? Are there barriers to reporting that need to be addressed?

2 Should a risk assessment framework be developed to help police and courts identify the course of conduct and manage risk of serious harm in the context of stalking? If so, how should it work?

3 What else might help agencies to identify the risk of serious harm in a stalking situation?

For example, should there be special training or guidelines, or expert advice?

4 What approaches or techniques should be used by law enforcement agencies when investigating stalking complaints?

5 In the family violence intervention order system, information sharing is allowed. Should there be a similar framework for information sharing between agencies providing services for stalking? If so, how should it work?

6 Should there be a specific police Code of Practice for reports of stalking? If so, what should it cover?

7 Should there be an option under the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) for police to be able to issue the equivalent of a Family Violence Safety Notice? Why/why not?

8 Should a person making an application for a personal safety intervention order be able to do so online? If yes, in what circumstances?

9 Should respondents be prevented from personally cross-examining the affected person in some personal safety intervention order matters? If so, in what circumstances?

10 Should courts be able to order respondents to personal safety intervention order applications to attend treatment programs? If so, what kinds of programs and in what circumstances?

11 Should there be additional offences in the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) to address more serious breaches? If so, what should they cover?

12 Should the restrictions on publication in the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) be expanded to cover adults?

13 Should there be free legal representation in some personal safety intervention order matters? If yes, what eligibility criteria should apply?

14 Should the appeals process for intervention orders be changed to improve the experience

of victim survivors? If so, how?

15 Are there any other aspects of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) that should be replicated in the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic)?

16 Can the criminal law response to stalking be improved?

17 You might like to consider whether:

(a) there are any challenges in identifying when a person has engaged in a course of conduct or in obtaining evidence to demonstrate a course of conduct

(b) the list of conduct in section 21A(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) covers all types of stalking behaviour

(c) cyberstalking is adequately covered

(d) the law presents any barriers to investigating, charging and prosecuting offenders for stalking conduct.

18 Should there be more protections for victim survivors in stalking prosecutions? If so, what kind?

19 Should the court be able to request specialist risk assessment reports for stalking? If yes, in what circumstances?

20 Should electronic monitoring be introduced to monitor people who have been assessed as posing a high risk of ongoing stalking behaviour? If yes, in what circumstances?

21 How can we improve victim services so that people who experience stalking have their needs met?

22 How can the financial support scheme for victims of crime be improved so that it better meets the needs of victim survivors of stalking?

23 How can we better integrate victim services with relevant public and private services and systems so that people are supported while they are being stalked?

24 How responsive are rehabilitation and reintegration interventions to the diverse needs of people who commit stalking?

25 Could some specialist courts and programs help address some of the issues that may co-occur alongside stalking behaviour? If so, how?

26 How well are prison and post-prison rehabilitation or reintegration measures working for people who have committed stalking? How can they be improved?

27 Are there relevant learnings from the reforms to the family violence system that could be applied to the way the system responds to people who commit stalking?

28 What are the barriers that some victim survivors experience when seeking help for cyberstalking?

29 If a person suspects that they are being kept under surveillance using cyberstalking, what kind of help do they need to ensure that they are safe?

30 In what ways can apps and smart devices be used to facilitate stalking? What controls could be put in place to prevent apps and smart devices being used to facilitate stalking?

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