Domestic Violence Access to Justice
One in four women across the country have experienced physical partner violence at the hand of an intimate partner. Family and domestic violence is the largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection cases and results in a police call out every two minutes across the country.
Leaving a violent relationship can be daunting and frightening, particularly for victims whose self-esteem; self-worth and confidence have been eroded as a result of emotional and physical abuse, or sexual assault. Pursuing justice can be even more challenging. According to the ABS’ most recent Personal Safety Survey, two-thirds of women who experienced a physical assault by a man, did not contact police. The majority of women – a devastating 87% or almost nine out of ten – did not contact the police when they were sexually assaulted.
That is why people who access hospitals or other medical services following a domestic assault must have immediate access to wrap-around support and access to justice if they want it. Police and legal services must be available and trained to work specifically with victims of domestic violence. The process of reporting a crime should never re-traumatise.