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Victoria’s justice system is negatively impacting victim-survivors

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Victoria’s justice system is traumatising victim-survivors, according to a new report on police and court processes in the state.
victoria justice system victim-survivor

Victoria’s justice system is traumatising victim-survivors, according to a new report on police and court processes in the state.

Victoria’s Victims of Crime Commissioner (VOCC) Fiona McCormack said the criminal justice system is “primarily designed to ensure the fair treatment of the accused.”

For its “Silenced and Sidelined” report, the VOCC surveyed more than 150 victim-survivors to learn more about their experiences in the justice system.

Here’s what it found.

Fewer than a third of victim-survivors who gave evidence in a Victorian court said they would willingly do it again.

Two in five respondents who didn’t report a crime said they either felt unsafe around police or feared they would not be taken seriously.

33% of victim-survivors didn’t know what support services were available to them or how to access them.

“I am powerless in a system that’s supposed to help me.”

One victim-survivor’s response to the VOCC survey

63% of victim-survivors with a disability said they felt excluded from the justice system.

Three in five respondents with a disability said they did not report a crime because talking to police would make them feel unsafe.

Four in five First Nations victim-survivors felt they were not included during court and police processes at any stage.

“I think Aboriginal victims of crime are treated differently, not taken as seriously, and not treated with respect.”

One First Nations victim-survivor’s response to the VOCC survey

75% of respondents felt concerned about their safety in court.

72% received little-to-no information from prosecutors to help them participate in the justice system. More than half had not been given the opportunity to read a Victim Impact Statement.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

13 YARN: 13 92 76

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