The bench book also notes other issues relating to access to justice experienced by women in the legal system including: (pp.167-170).
Note: Chapter 10 Women and Chapter 13 Family and Domestic Violence are currently under review. Until revision is completed, the first edition chapter 10 and the first edition chapter 13 apply. The relevant parts of the following text are based on these first edition chapters.
Chapter 10 includes very useful pointers for judges about how to deal with victims of domestic violence. Guidelines include: emphasising that domestic violence is not the victim’s fault, avoiding repetition of unfounded myths about domestic violence, understanding that sex workers and women who are not in a heterosexual relationship can also be victims of domestic violence.Chapter 13 ‘Children’ provides useful practical considerations around dealing with children in Family Court proceedings, restraining order matters, family and domestic violence and sexual assault, evidentiary issues, the effects of prolonged abuse, directions to the jury and sentencing and other decisions.
Chapter 7: Perpetration Characteristics and Litigation Tactics ’discusses options in response to the rationalizations and litigation tactics of domestic violators who engage in the coercive, controlling, dominating aspects of domestic violence in order to gain the upper hand in family and child protection litigation.’
Section 7.4: Perpetrator litigation tactics discusses the use of litigation to control or harass: ‘[p]rotracted litigation not only forces the targeted parent into continuing contact with the domestic violator, it also depletes resources, increases stress, and interferes with recovery from DV’. The section goes onto consider judicial responses to litigation tactics, including:
Section 5.3: Detection and prevention of intimidation in discovery proceedings and hearings notes the continued tactics of intimidation and harassment targeted persons may experience in court, emphasising they may be quite subtle. Some possible judicial responses to such actions are identified: