Women

NSW

  • Judicial Commission of NSW, Equality before the Law: Bench Book (2018).
    Section 7 deals with a range of issues specific to women. 7.1.4 notes that insufficient account is taken of the realities of the female experience of sexual assault and domestic violence, and discusses the statistical incidence of women as victims of domestic violence, domestic homicide and sexual assault. 7.3.3.2 discusses the need for judicial officers to understand the nature of family and domestic violence and sexual assault and their impact on women, and to rely on accurate statistics and research, not unfounded assumptions and myths about domestic violence or sexual assault.

QLD

  • Supreme Court of Queensland, Equal Treatment Bench Book (2nd ed, 2016).
    Chapter 14 of the bench book considers issues relating to gender equality. In Part III, there is a discussion of the specific challenges faced by women in the legal system. These challenges include accessing legal aid, childcare considerations, alternative dispute resolution, the intersection of gender inequality and other factors, and gender specific language (p.167 onwards). Part IV of the bench book looks at the experience of domestic violence by women. It notes that there is evidence that women are the most common victims of domestic violence and notes that it is important for lawyers to be aware of the challenges faced by female victims of family violence (p.171 onwards). Further, there is a discussion of domestic violence, the court process and legal services.

Vic

  • Judicial College of Victoria, Family Violence Bench Book (2014).
    5.2.3 discusses the gendered natured of family violence. 5.2.4 discusses the statistical over-representation of women as victims of family violence, particularly those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 5.8 notes that women with disabilities are also particularly over-represented as victims of family violence and may have different needs from other victims. 5.2.6 discusses the impact of family violence on women. 5.3.7 discusses how the parenting ability of mothers who are victims of family violence may be affected. 5.6.3 discusses the myth that violence against women is an accepted part of some cultures. 5.4.5 notes that while men can be victims of family violence, the majority of women who use some form of violence towards their partner have been subjected to (worse) violence by that man before, or on the same occasion.

WA

  • Department of Justice (WA), Equal Justice Bench Book (2nd edition September 2017).

    [13.1.1] Notes a number of facts and statistics that highlight women as vulnerable to domestic violence, including the higher prevalence of women as victims, and that men and women experience family and domestic violence differently. It also notes that Indigenous women report higher levels of violence than non-Indigenous women, and that women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds report lower levels of violence but may under-report their experiences. Sections [13.1.1.1] and [13.1.1.2] detail specific characteristics of women’s vulnerability to family and domestic violence, noting a number of intersecting vulnerabilities (e.g. socioeconomic status and ethnicity).

    [13.2.3] Women as victims of family and domestic violence: discusses women’s particular experiences of violence, including discussion of women being more vulnerable to the health impacts of family and domestic violence.

    In relation to women as perpetrators of abuse, section [13.1.3] ‘Men and family and domestic violence’ may be relevant: ‘although women’s violence toward their male partners that is neither in self-defence nor in response to being abused was rare, it could still be very dangerous’, and that ‘Men’s physical size and strength is often greater than that of their female partners, which may partly explain why men report that they do not generally live in fear of their partners’.

    See also Chapter 10 Women. This chapter is currently under review. Until revision is completed, the first edition chapter 10 applies.

Canada

  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2017).

    Section 3.4.2: ‘Being female is the single most common underlying factor associated with the likelihood of being targeted by domestic violence.’

    Section 5.2.2: ‘Far more is known about the impact of domestic violence on women than about the impact of domestic violence on men. This is because women are more often targeted and consequently more often studied.’