Law Society looks at legal reform on family violence Victims of family violence need more legal assistance and protection, the Law Society said yesterday. The society told a Legislative Council panel meeting it was reviewing the Domestic Violence Ordinance, including the power of arrest and an extension of the validity of injunction orders. Society spokesman Dennis Ho Chi-kuen said the definition of victims of family violence only covered couples and children living with them. 'But elderly people living with couples may also be included in the definition,' he said. Mr Ho also said the current definition did not include partners of gay marriages and that the review would study the need for such an inclusion. Instead of relying on police internal guidelines in handling cases of family violence, Mr Ho said there might be a need for police responsibility to be written into law. The society will draw up a list of lawyers who can provide urgent assistance to victims, and this will be sent to all police report units and hospitals. 'Many victims do not recognise their legal rights, even when they have been beaten up and sent to hospital. They do not know that they can apply for injunction orders to prevent any more physical attack by the abusers.' But Mr Ho said the society had not decided whether the legal advice would be offered free. The subcommittee meeting yesterday was attended by government officials and representatives from 19 concern groups commenting on the report on a triple murder and suicide in Tin Shui Wai last April. Their proposals included compulsory counselling for convicted abusers and clearer guidelines for frontline workers. Director of Social Welfare Paul Tang Kwok-wai said his department would respond to comments at the next meeting.