Responses in criminal proceedings

Cautionary note: some people may find reading these victim experiences distressing or traumatising.

These de-identified victim experiences summarise the content of interviews undertaken with people who have experienced domestic and family violence and legal system engagement. The interviewees’ names and some minor details of their narratives have been changed to protect their identities. In many cases the names have been selected by the interviewees.

The key words align with the contents covered in the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book.

  • Celia has been the victim of violence from Harry over a 20 year relationship. They have a child together.

    There is an incident at their home. Police are called. Harry claims that Celia scratched his face. Police observe scratch marks on Harry. Police charge Celia with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and intimidation. Police apply for a protection order against Celia. Celia is required to leave the home; and cannot see her child.

    Celia discloses to her lawyer that she has actually been the victim of serious physical and sexual violence by Harry for years. Harry has also been extremely controlling of her. Celia tells her lawyer that on the night in question, Harry had attempted to strangle her and tried to take her phone to stop her from calling police. Celia feared for her life and defended herself.

    With the assistance of a lawyer, Celia defends the criminal charges and the protection order. The medical evidence confirms injuries to Celia from attempted strangulation; and the Triple 000 calls confirm Celia’s version of events. The Court ultimately accepts Celia’s account of violence.

    The charges and the protection order against Celia are successfully dismissed.