The “battered wife” Syndrome – A former cop receives backlash

The “battered wife” Syndrome – A former cop receives backlash

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A former cop, who has been lashed online for what she called her fish and chip shop (“The Battered Wife”) is still defending the name. The controversial shopfront, which has the words “The only battering anyone need know” written in the corner, divided Australia after a number of domestic violence groups said the name was making light of men hitting women.

Carolyn Kerr (the owner) said she was a domestic violence survivor herself and even posted a photo of herself with a black eye and said she had recently stepped in to protect a woman in a bad situation. For more information on this story click here

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the name was totally inappropriate.

“It is completely unacceptable in our community that we have anything that goes towards an encouragement of violence towards women,” Ms Frecklington said.

 

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are or have been in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence in Australia can include:

  • emotional abuse;
  • physical assault;
  • sexual assault;
  • verbal abuse;
  • financial abuse;
  • psychological abuse;
  • isolating a woman from her friends and family;
  • stopping a woman from practicing her religion; and/or
  • Stalk/intimidating a person.

 

Although Domestic Violence takes many forms this short article is only contained to a brief discussion of Domestic Violence in terms of Common assault (punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, throwing things at a person resulting in little or no injuries) and Domestic Violence in terms of Stalking/Intimidating.

Some examples of assault include:

  • Striking at a person with a first or slapping a person;
  • Throwing an object at another person (even if it misses); and/or
  • Unlawful imprisonment of another person

For further examples of assaults please see our dedicated “violence offences webpage” 

Some examples of stalk intimidate include:

  • Constantly calling, texting or Facebook messaging someone
  • Making a threat to a person or their family
  • Repeatedly attending a person’s home or work

For further examples of stalk intimidate please see our dedicated site on “stalk/intimidation”

THE LAW

Common Assault

The Law in relation to Common Assault is found in section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).  It states;
“Whoever assault any person, although not occasioning bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years”

An assault is a Common Assault when it results in no injury, or in injuries that are not serious or require very little medical treatment. Common assault can also include threats of violence, if the person making the threat has the ability to carry them out.

 

Stalk/intimidate

The offence of intimidation or stalking is contained in section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW). It reads as follows;
“A person who stalks or intimidates another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm is guilty of an offence”

WHAT MUST THE PROSECUTION PROVE?

For common assault:

Since Common Assault is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of affray.

To establish Common Assault the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You assaulted the victim; and
  • Intentionally or recklessly caused another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence.

 

For stalk/intimidate

To establish Stalk-Intimidate, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

Intimidation

  • You intimidated someone; and
  • You did so intending that person to fear physical or mental harm

Stalking

  • You stalked someone; and
  • You did so intending that person to fear physical or mental harm

DEFENCES

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Domestic Violence can include:

 

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”;
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence” even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there be a circumstances where you may argue that there was “No duty or need to retreat”.

For a list of all defences please visit our dedicated defences pages

IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENCE, WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

National Criminal Lawyers only employ the best Criminal Lawyers Sydney has to offer. Moreover, we have been successful in defending a number of Domestic Violence Charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements of Domestic Violence offences.

 

National Criminal Lawyers offer the following options for those who have been charged with a criminal offence;

  1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
  2. We can on your instructions facilitate a plea of Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and attempt to persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
  3. We can on your instructions facilitate a plea of guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
  4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction or have you sentenced to the least restrictive penalty available.

 

WHY NATIONAL CRIMINAL LAWYERS?

There are many reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

  • We understand that one of the worst consequences of a criminal charge is the damage to your reputation. As one of the top law firms Sydney has on offer we ALWAYS seek to restore your reputation;
  • Our clients Testimonials are glowing and our customers/clients speak for themselves. For consideration of these testimonials see nationalcriminallawyers.com.au and/or check out our google reviews;
  • We always guide you through the preparation work required and assist in helping you provide everything needed to go to court.
  • We always guide you through obtaining the best of character references and letters of apology. We also use the best psychologists, medical and other experts;
  • We guarantee that a Senior Criminal Defence Lawyer from Sydney will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible and will not be subjected to a Junior or recently graduated Lawyer;
  • We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available; and
  • We know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. As such we take pride and passion in representing our clients. You can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights;
Book your first free appointment with National Criminal lawyers now.
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