The Importance of Understanding the Victims’ ‘Reality’ of Domestic Violence

Patricia Easteal, Reeva Mittal and Lorana Bartels, ‘The Importance of Understanding the Victims’ ‘Reality’ of Domestic Violence,’ Alternative Law Journal, DOI:/10.1177/1037969X18790040, 2018

13 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2019

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Lorana Bartels

Australian National University (ANU) - ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods

Reeva Mittal

University of Canberra - Faculty of Business, Government and Law

Date Written: December 14, 2018

Abstract

We argue that unconscious assumptions may filter out the diverse ‘realities’ of domestic violence victims. Despite legal and policy reform, it seems that these biases may continue to affect how relevant legislation is applied and interpreted. 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 that sentencing for domestic violence offences and breaches of protection orders needs to be underpinned by knowledge of the long-term effects of emotional abuse.

Keywords: access to the law, domestic violence, family violence, feminism, sentencing

JEL Classification: K19, K39, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L. and Bartels, Lorana and Mittal, Reeva, The Importance of Understanding the Victims’ ‘Reality’ of Domestic Violence (December 14, 2018). Patricia Easteal, Reeva Mittal and Lorana Bartels, ‘The Importance of Understanding the Victims’ ‘Reality’ of Domestic Violence,’ Alternative Law Journal, DOI:/10.1177/1037969X18790040, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301608

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Lorana Bartels

Australian National University (ANU) - ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods ( email )

Beryl Rawson Building (13)
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

Reeva Mittal

University of Canberra - Faculty of Business, Government and Law ( email )

University Drive
Bruce, 2617
Australia

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