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Magistrates 'nagging' comment out of touch.

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Media Release

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator for South Australia




Monday 30 Aug. 1999


Magistrates ‘nagging’ comment out of touch


Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today sh e was appalled by the reported comments of a New South Wales magistrate concerning domestic violence.


“It is comments like this that make me realise there is still a long way to go in educating the community about domestic violence,” Senator Vanstone said.


“For a magistrate, through a survey response, to suggest that women provoke domestic violence by ‘nagging, bitching and emotionally hurting men,’ reflects poorly not only on the anonymous magistrate and has the potential to cast the same reflection on his/her colleagues.


“I welcome the New South Wales Judicial Commission’s efforts to examine the issues of use and potential abuse of apprehended violence orders. I would hope that no one, women in particular, would condone the abuse of a system designed to protect people from violence.


“The magistrate’s comment highlights that the campaign against domestic violence should not be confined to potential victims/perpetrators, but needs to embrace the entire community.


“There is no excuse for domestic violence.


“There is no excuse for murder. Too often, domestic violence can lead to death.


“It is a fact that 90% of adult women who are victims of lethal violence by an intimate partner,’ die as a result of domestic altercations like jealousy or arguments about the termination of a relationship.


“This was highlighted in an Australian Institute of Criminology paper I released in July on femicide.


“During the nine years between 1989 and 1998 an average of 55 women aged 15 and over were killed by their male intimate partners each year.


“The fact that in 1999 a magistrate could make such a statement highlights that we, as a community, need to remain vigilant in the educational campaign against domestic violence.”


Media Contact: Kevin Donnellan 0419 400 078



jk  1999-08-31  12:47