From Destroy the Joint, prompted by this article in the Australian, about a woman who faced criminal charges for being too frightened to continue with her testimony against her abusive partner, a call for action at NSW state level.
This is directly from the DtJ FB page:
Victims of domestic violence need our help. Women in NSW are being charged after retracting domestic violence allegations against their partners.
Since 2006, the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT has represented 20 Indigenous women who were charged with either false accusation or public mischief offences following the retraction of a domestic violence allegation. There was no investigation of the retraction itself – the women were just charged on the basis of their testimony that the domestic violence did not happen – and three of the women were handed jail terms by country magistrates.
The solution to the shocking problem of NSW police inappropriately charging alleged victims of domestic violence with criminal offences when they buckle to pressure & retract their allegations is simple.
Call upon the Attorney General Greg Smith to issue a direction to the NSW DPP under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act to ensure that no one is prosecuted solely for retracting an allegation of domestic or sexual violence without the approval of a senior lawyer within the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The cases reported in The Australian by journalist Natasha Robinson demonstrate that unless this occurs NSW police will continue to further victimize highly vulnerable woman who recant allegations due to pressure, threats and duress.
The recent reporting of the cases in which Aboriginal woman already at risk have been jailed solely for retracting DV allegations has been a reminder of the harsh way our criminal justice can treat the state’s most defenceless citizens, particularly in remote areas.
Please act now. Email the NSW Attorney-General and ask him to issue the direction to the NSW DPP to ensure no-one will ever be charged for simply retracting an allegation of domestic violence. Mr Smith’s email is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Update: Attorney-General Greg Smith has made a statement that he has no plans to revise the existing laws relating to this matter. Now is the time to up the pressure.