What should the victim do in intervention orders and family violence-related criminal matters?

We often encounter situations where a victim reports a matter to the police involving their spouse, parent, or child. However, after cooling down, they may not want further prosecution against them. So, what should the victim do in this instance?

This scenario is commonly seen in intervention orders and family violence-related criminal matters. In such cases, if the accused decides to contest the matter, the victim will likely be called as a witness at the final trial and may be cross-examined by the accused’s legal representative.

However, if the victim doesn’t want prosecution to continue prosecute your family member, you will have to seek an exemption under s18 of the Evidence Act from giving evidence from giving evidence of a communication between you and the accused.

Who are entitled to this exemption?

  • spouses, de-facto partners, parents or children of defendants

It is important to note that even if the victim has been excused from giving evidence under s 18, prosecution may still be able to present evidence of what the victim said previously about the incident.

Additionally, the prosecution will likely contact the victim to seek their opinion on the matter. While it’s acceptable to express that you’re not supportive of the intervention order or don’t want your spouse or partner to face criminal charges, however, it would not be appropriate to say something along the lines like I was angry at the time so I reported it to Police. By saying something along those lines, you may risk yourself being prosecuted for perjury.

In Victoria, perjury is a serious offence and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

If Police has taken an intervention order against your spouse or partner or your behalf or has charged your spouse or partner with family violence related offences, and you are no longer supportive of the IVO or does not want prosecution to continue prosecuting them, feel free to reach out to us.

At Fumens Lawyers, we’re here to provide the assistance and support you need. Be sure to subscribe to our channel for more videos on topics related to Intervention Orders and criminal matters.

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