In Australia, intimate partner violence causes more illness, disability and deaths than any other risk factor for women aged 25 to 44, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
This was evident in a recent case brought before the District Court of NSW, where a young woman had endured regular abuse from an on-and-off-again partner.
Background of the case
The victim had been in an intimate domestic relationship with the offender commencing in 2014 for around two years, during which time the man lived on-and-off with the victim at her home in Leeton. The court learned their relationship was violent and characterised by frequent arguments.
After about 12 months, the victim asked the offender to leave the house. This incident was reported to police and an apprehended violence order was made in favour of the young woman.
Despite his regular bouts of aggressive behaviour, the victim continued to reconnect with the offender at various points. On May 10, 2017, the victim and the offender had been exchanging text messages for most of the day, with the man repeatedly asking to see the woman. It was agreed that the offender would collect the victim from her home in Leeton on his way to Young.
After setting off, the man began shouting at the victim over claims she had been talking to other men. The woman opened the door of the moving car, and once the offender stopped the vehicle and the victim attempted to leave, he punched her in the face around six times.
He yelled at her to get back in the car and, being too scared to move, the victim complied.
Once they arrived at the offender's house, the victim sat on the man's bed in silence, hoping he would drive her home. The offender apologised to the woman and began kissing her. She realised he wanted to have sexual intercourse. She did not want to but was too scared to say no.
Following the incident, the offender was arrested at his address on May 18, 2017.
What did the court decide?
The court reviewed all evidence relating to the offender's abusive behaviour, and deemed the matter at hand was just above the mid range on the seriousness scale. As such, it sentenced the man to a total of 8 years and 4 months in prison.
If you've suffered at the hands of a partner or loved one and want to explore your options, it's important to get in touch with an expert legal team. Contact the sexual assault lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners to find out how we can handle your case.