Domestic violence convictions in NSW are due to a ‘victim-centred’ change in the law

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Courts and lawyers considered the victims’ video testimonies more accurate, as they were recorded shortly after the incident, rather than months or years later in the much-delayed trials.

Police and prosecutors found that video evidence gave them greater leverage to persuade perpetrators to plead guilty and made victims less likely to recant – a persistent problem in domestic violence cases.

In such cases, vulnerable victims would most likely spend less time questioning in the intimidating and often controversial courtroom in front of their abusers.

The new study found that domestic violence affects one in four women. Both PwC and KPMG have calculated that this is costing the country $22 billion a year.

NSW Police have stepped up their efforts to tackle domestic violence in recent months, targeting “high risk individuals” and repeat offenders.

The third edition of Operation Amarok in July saw 500 arrests and more than 1,000 charges across New South Wales in just three days.

At the time, Police Secretary Yasmin Catley said domestic violence was an “epidemic” of unreported crime, and Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said half of the state’s homicides were domestic violence-related.

“These types of crimes are violent, confrontational, and targeted,” Lanyon said.

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Justin Scaccy

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