Legal Light Bulbs principal consultant, Professor Patricia Easteal AM, is a co-author of this Alternative Law Journal article, which shows why it’s vital for those working in the criminal justice system to understand the victim’s ‘reality’ of domestic violence.
Patricia Easteal, Lorana Bartels, and Reeva Mittal, (2019) ‘The Importance of Understanding the Victims’ ‘Reality’ of Domestic Violence,’ Alternative Law Journal online at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1037969X18790040 44(1).
In this article we propose unconscious assumptions may filter out the diverse ‘realities’ of domestic violence victims. Despite legal and policy reform it seems these unconscious biases may continue to affect how relevant legislation is applied and interpreted in Australia.
We examine a small sample of sentencing remarks in recent Queensland domestic violence order breach cases to illustrate the importance of judicial officers’ awareness of the seriousness and harm of psychological or mental abuses – the victims’ ‘reality’ of domestic violence.
We conclude sentencing for domestic violence offences and breaches of protection orders needs to be underpinned by knowledge of the long-term effects of emotional abuse.
If you’d like to discuss this article, learn more about the importance of understanding the victims’ ‘reality’ of domestic violence, or hear about our services in the areas of domestic violence research, violence against women, access to justice, unconscious bias, or how to organise domestic violence training to educate your organisation, please feel free to get in touch with Legal Light Bulbs via our Contact page.