Assisting survivors of family violence

Jessica* left her de facto partner because he was physically and mentally abusive. The ex-partner has repeatedly pursued her through the courts as part of a wider pattern of abuse, including multiple intervention order applications. His abuse caused her and their children significant mental distress and instability. Jessica has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of this ordeal.

Jessica’s latest court case was referred to IMCL when she was charged with using a carriage service to harass her ex-partner’s partner at the time. We negotiated with Victoria Police and that they withdraw all charges on the basis that it was not in the public interest to prosecute a victim-survivor of family violence, and that Jessica’s behaviour was not harassing. IMCL achieved a successful outcome in this case and all the charges were withdrawn.

Jessica said, “I have never felt the support of the justice system. I felt persecuted by the system and now get anxious every time I see them.” She said IMCL restored some faith in the system. “I’ve never had lawyers so devoted to winning the case. They asked what I wanted and were extremely
supportive of my decision.”

*name has been changed