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Lawyers use victim-blaming language in domestic violence cases, says report

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Judges and lawyers overseeing domestic violence cases sometimes minimise perpetrator accountability and use victim-blaming terms, highlighting the need to educate court staff about the importance of language, the annual report of the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team states.

The team was established in 2010 to review domestic-violence-related deaths and to make recommendations about how to prevent or reduce the likelihood of such deaths by improving the way they are examined in the judicial system.

Their report found in some of the cases reviewed judicial staff “used mutualising language such as ‘volatile relationship’ or ‘stormy relationship’ to describe cases where a domestic violence abuser had a long history of using violence against the victim”.

 

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