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Domestic Violence Legal Presentation

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by

Garry Lu

on 21 December 2013

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Transcript of Domestic Violence Legal Presentation

DOMESTIC ABUSE
INTRODUCTION
- Domestic violence: behavioral pattern involving abuse of an individual by another in an intimate relationship

- Often influenced by alcohol, mental illness, co-morbidity

- May take various forms: physical aggression/assault, threats, sexual or emotional abuse, domineering, intimidation

- Laws on domestic violence differ according to country

- Generally outlawed in Western countries, remains an imminent issue, more so in developing countries eg.
2010 - the United Arab Emirate's Supreme Court rules that a man has the right to physically discipline his wife and children as long as he does not leave a physical mark.
LEGISLATIONS & LEGAL PROTECTION
CASES
HISTORY
- Historically throughout multiple cultures , it was socially and legally admissible for men to physically assault women

- Punishment of wives was termed as "chastisement", term stressing motivation as for corrective purposes while masking the violent nature

- In ancient Rome (27 BC-1453 AD), husbands were given the ability to physically punish, even kill his wife for "inappropriate" behavior
- In Medieval England (400 AD - 1485 AD), common law dictated that husbands were not legally accountable for the rape of his wife

- Early settlers of America (early 1500s onwards) modeled U.S law on English common law

- Definition of rape was vague in regards to a domestic setting (marital rape would not be remedied until the 1970s)

- The state attempted to diverge from the British law by limiting the acceptance domestic assaults through the use of a switch no thicker than his thumb
STATISTICS
Global Statistics:

- 35% of women worldwide have experienced sexual violence, 30% at the hands of a partner

- Domestic abuse rates per region as follows: South-East Asian (37.7%), East-Mediterranean (37%), Africa (36.6%), South America (29.8%), Europe (25.4%), West-Pacific (24.6%), high income countries (23.2%)

- "High income countries" consists of Australia, New Zealand, North America, Israel, Japan,
South Korea and members of the European Union

Australian Statistics:

- Under half a million Australian women reported their experiences with domestic violence in 12 months (between 1996-2005, reports of physical abuse has increased from 18.5% to 36% while sexual abuse has risen from 14.9% to 18.9%)

- Around 72.5% of women remained silent despite having experience domestic abuse

- Of the women who had experienced physical assault 12 months prior to the survey, 37.8% of the aggressors were previous partners while 34.4% were a family member or friend

- Over a million women had experienced domestic violence from a current or ex-partner since the age of fifteen (33.3% sexual, 19.1% physical)

- 12.4% of women had been sexually abused before the age of fifteen compared to 4.5% of males under identical conditions
- Debut of the "Battered Women's Movement"

- "Women's Rights Movement" of the 1970s

- Recognized three predominant factors to domestic violence: gender roles and expectations, economic disparity and a legal system that did not hold men accountable

- In New York, domestic violence cases were transferred from criminal courts to civil courts

- Married women who escaped their husbands to avoid beating were denied welfare due to the salary of the husbands

- In Australia, there are seven main legislative acts, or domestic violence protection orders (DVPO):

* Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989 (QLD)
* Domestic Violence Act 1994 (SA)
* Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA)
* Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW)
* Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007 (NT)
* Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (VIC)
* Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008 (ACT)

- The legislative force behind Australian States and Territories enables courts of law to construct orders with intentions to safeguard victims of domestic violence

- Aspects that differ:
maximum penalties imposed for the contravention of a DVPO,
obligatory actions to be taken by police in suspected cases of domestic violence,
approaches taken to issues of counseling and rehabilitation programs for offenders

- Aspects that remain constant:
conduct that constitutes domestic violence and grounds where protection is necessary, prohibitions, restraints and conditions of an imposed order in certain contexts,
the capacity of temporary orders to be obtained and utilized without a court appearance,
the effect of contravening a DVPO

- Heterogenous nature of each case

- Tailored needs of each victim. As opposed to most other crimes, there is a level of intimacy between the offender and victim

- Victims has had, and may possibly continue a relationship

- Definition of violence/abuse, may not always constitute a crime

- Varying levels of resources for managing violence, different needs and expectations from police interventions

- Victim's outcry is extremely important if not more so than actual evidence

ISSUES/CHALLENGES
- Victim support is essential in order to warrant an arrest. Police are unlikely to arrest and charge unless the victim has undergone the prosecution process despite substantial evidence

- Due to prolonged psychological distress as well as an emotionally disorientating relationship, victims may choose not to proceed with a prosecution

CASE A
- Overview: Kay Schubach, aged 40, endures months of violent abuse at the hands of a former partner out of fear before taking action

- Details:
40 year old businesswoman, Kay Schubach, endures two months of abuse

- Abuse includes regular beatings, asphyxiation/strangulation

- Schubach launches a complaint, issues an interim AVO against her partner. Ceases pursuit of AVO after threats from partner

- Papers remained unratified. Claims "The paper would never stop him, he had keys to the car and apartment, I had to go home to him."

- The partner threatens Schubach's parents to force a change of statement. Later convicted and gaoled for the rape of another woman

- Shcubach went into hiding rather than pursuing a prosecution, states "If there was a way to defend the AVO without facing him in court, that would have helped."
CASE B
- Overview: North shore psychologist Nanette May, aged 44, meets "love of life, Karl Koch, on a dating site. Koch wanted a marriage and May became anxious as he became violent.

- Details:
44 year old psychologist, Nanette May, meets IT professional, Karl Koch, on RSVP in 2002

- Koch, determined to obtain a marriage, becomes violent six months into the relationship.

- May eventually fled the country to end the relationship but upon her return, Koch initiated a phase of stalking

- Included threatening texts, faxes,phone calls

- May issued an AVO in March 2005, states "Court process was terrifying."

- August 2006, Koch attempts to murder May in a forty minute knife attack

- Koch was charged, sentenced to gaol and deported to German

- May has changed her name and has since been incorporated into a police training video
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