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.
EASTEAL, P., BARTELS, L., & Mittal, R. (2019). The importance of understanding the victims’ ‘reality’ of domestic violence. Alternative Law Journal, 44(1), 11-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1037969X18790040