Understanding family violence

“Law reform makes less of a difference”

Day after day, week after week, judgments roll out from the courts, accounting for offenders’ months and years committing awful family violence, often of reoffending broken by lengthy prison terms during which offenders only lacked opportunity to demonstrate their propensity for horrific domestic abuse. The judgments dispassionately narrate offenders’ brutal conduct, identify aggravating cruelty, and search for any mitigating factors, before establishing by reference to a distressing volume of comparable cases a starting point for sentencing. Despite decades of concentrated law reform, nothing seems effective to combat aggressors’ determination, literally, to bend and break another independent but intimate being to their will. Continue reading “Understanding family violence”