Claudia Baxter

AVOS ‘do work for most’

THEY work for most, but AVOs must be enforced, Shine Lawyers senior solicitor Paula Shelton said.

"AVOs work for 90% of people," she said.

"The problem with the breaches is if the violent person gets away with one breach, then it escalates."

Unless police are enforcing the AVOs, Ms Shelton said offenders won't take the orders seriously.

"It is overwhelming, there are so many of these things ... but it really needs to be recognised that these are really serious offences."

She said it was easy for victims to lose trust in the system when such orders were not properly enforced.

"If (an AVO) is breached, something has to be done about it," she said.

Ms Shelton said while some people could be quick to judge victims for not acting, fear often ruled their decisions.

"They are offered counselling and an AVO ... but they just want their partner to stop being violent."

Ms Shelton has represented victims in a number of high-profile domestic violence cases, one involving the murder of a child.

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