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
Date Written: December 14, 2018
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: Suggested Citation