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Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Bond law students take on domestic violence

A new initiative designed to prepare aspiring lawyers to handle domestic violence cases has been established in a joint partnership between Bond University and the Domestic Violence Court in Southport, Queensland’s first and only dedicated domestic and family violence court.

Bond law students take on domestic violence

(L-R) Katrina Ukmar, The Hon Magistrate Colin Strofield, Paula Bould, and Tess Lehn (Photo: Bond University)

The program aims to give five law students supervised exposure to the complex legal field of domestic violence, shadowing Magistrate Colin Strofield in his role as one of the presiding magistrates of the Domestic Violence Court and working with the dedicated Domestic Violence Registry.

Bond University’s Assistant Professor of Law, Jodie O’Leary, who coordinates the Domestic Violence Court Clinic program alongside Assistant Professor Elizabeth Greene, said the initiative was a response to the ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ report into domestic and family violence, headed by Dame Quentin Bryce.

“One of the issues highlighted in the ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ report was the need for universities to identify suitable ways to incorporate education and training around domestic violence prevention into undergraduate courses,” said Assistant Professor O’Leary.

“We see the Domestic Violence Court Clinic as a way we can implement those findings, while also giving our students valuable real-world experience to prepare them for legal practice.

“Magistrate Strofield and the Registry staff are highly experienced in this field and their investment in our students is truly invaluable.”

Magistrate Strofield said eliminating domestic and family violence required a coordinated response over an extensive period of time.

“Partnerships between universities and key stakeholders will prove invaluable as the commitment to change continues,” said Magistrate Strofield.

“The definition of domestic violence is varied and often misunderstood.

“Educating students in the definition of domestic and family violence and best practices is a key component for change in the future.

“I’m optimistic that this opportunity to observe the practical application of legal studies together with gaining the perspective of aggrieved and responding parties of domestic violence will assist and inspire students in their future careers in legal practice.”

Domestic Violence Court deputy registrar Paula Bould said the program would provide the students with the unique opportunity to observe and participate in the process of trialing a specialist domestic and family violence court, the first of its kind in Queensland.

“Students will observe firsthand the daily operations of court proceedings both of a civil and criminal nature varying from the initial application stage, to contested trials to criminal charges arising from a contravention of an order,” said Mrs Bould.

The students—Nakisa Djamshidi, Tess Lehn, Katrina Ukmar, Chelsea McClatchy and Melissa Bate—will each spend one day per week in the Court with Magistrate Strofield, as well as working in the Registry.

Final-year Juris Doctor student Tess Lehn, 24, said it had been eye opening to be part of such an important program.

“I have learnt so much seeing what the Magistrate deals with on a daily basis,” she said.

“Magistrate Strofield takes a real interest in the people that come before the court and making sure they realise the seriousness of domestic violence and the importance of not reoffending.

“Spending time in the registry has also been an invaluable experience and it has been great to work alongside the staff who are specially trained and passionate about what they do.”

Tess is planning to work in family law when she graduates from Bond Law School this year.

Third-year Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Psychological Science student Katrina Ukmar, 21, said she and her fellow students were very fortunate to have such access to the courtroom and its workings.

“These cases are often heard in a closed court, so to be able to have access to the courtroom and the Magistrate is something you would never usually get to experience as a law student,” she said.

“I don’t think the community understands just how widespread domestic violence is in today’s society. It’s been amazing to see the great work that is happening, and steps that are being taken to address this important issue.”

Katrina would like to work in criminal law when she graduates from Bond at the end of 2017.

“Having a dual degree in Law and Psychological Sciences will help me to better understand people, and why they do what they do, so that ultimately I can devise better rehabilitative strategies and holistic solutions to address criminal law issues,” she said.

Assistant Professor O’Leary said the students would be able to see, in practice, legal practitioners dedicated to confronting the issue and amending procedure to make it easier for the system to better protect victims of domestic violence.

“In preparation for the five-week program, the students have been briefed by clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Deborah Wilmoth, Director of the Bond University Psychology Clinic, about the confronting nature of some of the matters they will be exposed to,” said Assistant Professor O’Leary.

“Elizabeth Greene and I have also taken the students through a legal briefing that specifically addressed the Domestic Violence Court and the law to which they would be exposed.

“The five students were selected from a strong field of applicants, and the early feedback from the Deputy Registrar is that they are exceptional young ladies.”

Bond Law School Juris Doctor

The Bond JD was constructed to enable graduates to take leading positions in the public and private sectors. Bond graduates are now employed in top law firms throughout Australia and across 38 countries, including the United States, U.K., Canada, Malaysia and Singapore, as solicitors in private practice, barristers, government lawyers, in-house counsel and academics. Students are encouraged to emphasize specific areas of study that they feel will best serve their proposed career paths.

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Semester intakes: January, May, September
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: There is no official application deadline. Students from Canada should apply early, particularly if they are seeking entry for a September intake.

Apply now to Bond University Law School!


If you would like more information about Bond Law School, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Law Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Monash Law School launches major study into legal responses to domestic violence deaths

Monash Law School and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) have launched a major report into intimate partner killings in Victoria.

Out of character? Legal Responses to Intimate Partner Homicides is the first comprehensive study of the impact of legal reforms introduced in Victoria between 2005 and 2014.

Monash Law School launches major study into legal responses to domestic violence deaths

Study law at Monash University

The report was launched by former Supreme Court Justice The Hon. Philip Cummins at the Monash Law Chambers in Melbourne’s CBD.

The report finds that despite legal reforms the gender of the perpetrators of intimate partner homicides still plays a significant role in the outcome of trials.

The authors of the report include Associate Professor Bronwyn Naylor from Monash Law School, Dr Danielle Tyson from Monash School of Social Sciences and Dr Debbie Kirkwood and Mandy McKenzie from DVRCV.

The researchers examined risk factors and legal responses to 51 homicides committed by men and 13 homicides by women against their intimate partner over a 10-year period between 2005 and 2014.

The report finds a history of family violence and relationship separation were key factors in these deaths.

“Our research has shown that men are still able to ‘explain’ their killing of an intimate partner as a ‘one off’ awful event,” says Dr Naylor. “This occurs even where there is plenty of evidence that they were violent and/or coercive to their partner over long periods of time before the killing.”

Dr Naylor says reforms to Victorian law between 2005 and 2014 have had minimal impact on the practical operation of the law in court.

The report finds that the abolition of the partial defence of defensive homicide in 2014 will disadvantage women who kill their abusive partners.

“Women charged with killing their violent partner can still have difficulty proving that they were acting in self defence, and law reforms that were aimed to make this a clearer defence in appropriate cases have not necessarily made a significant difference,” says Dr Naylor.

“We need to go back to look at our recent reforms and see why some aren’t being used and whether other reforms should be revised.”

Monash Law School

Monash Law School is one of the largest and most prestigious law schools in Australia, providing legal education and training to more than 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Monash offers a Juris Doctor program and a number of postgraduate legal degrees, including a Doctor of Judicial Sciences, Doctor of Laws, Master of Laws by Research, and several postgraduate master by coursework programs.

The Faculty of Law at Monash University has one of the largest law libraries in Australia. It also has a moot court designed as a real courtroom for practicing trial work.

Monash Law School offers high-quality teaching by leading academics and practitioners, who are experts in the teaching of law and legal practice. Additionally, the JD program offers an interactive learning environment, small class sizes and innovative teaching.


Learn more about Monash Law School and the Juris Doctor program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Law Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Griffith program puts spotlight on domestic violence

Federal Member for Griffith Ms Terri Butler last week launched the new Griffith University program – Project Safe Space – which provides journalism students with an intensive learning experience in reporting domestic and family violence.

Griffith University arts degrees

Professor Susan Forde speaking at the launch of Project Safe Space. Image: Kasun Ubayasiri (Photo credit: Griffith University)

An initiative of Griffith School of Humanities’ journalism program, Project Safe Space sees journalism and law students working together with victims and stakeholder groups to facilitate change.

Ms Butler said, “It is really wonderful to see Griffith University is engaging in two very important ways of facing up to domestic and family violence in our community, and that’s the way we talk about it and the action we take from it.”

“Project Safe Space aims to educate the community about issues surrounding domestic violence and provide a voice for victims,’’ says journalism lecturer Ms Faith Valencia.

“At the same time, it will provide journalism students with training in best-practice reporting and a better understanding of domestic violence issues.

“Our law students will have the opportunity to engage with the practical legal implications of existing laws surrounding domestic violence, and possibilities for law reform in this area.”

School of Humanities Acting Head of School Professor Susan Forde said the project was immensely beneficial for both journalism and law students.

“Journalism students will be producing news stories, radio articles and television packages which will all focus on domestic violence. Everything our journalism students produce is designed to educate, raise awareness and support victims and survivors and the workers who surround them.”

“For law students, as they move into the legal fraternity they will be able to better navigate and understand that space.

“It’s going to be a very challenging and sometimes difficult experience for our students but no doubt a rewarding and enlightening one.”

Project Safe Space is working in conjunction with

  • Domestic Violence Action Centre (Ipswich)
  • White Warrior Challenge Against Domestic Violence
  • Bravehearts
  • Better Life Psychology
  • R.E.A.D Clinic
  • Mentors in Violence (Griffith University)
  • DV Connect
  • DV Connect Mensline
  • Queensland Eidfest Association

Griffith School of Humanities

The School of Humanities is one of the foundation schools of Griffith University, and offers undergraduate, postgraduate and double degree programs at the Nathan and Gold Coast campuses, as well as online. Areas of study include Creative writing and Literature; Journalism, Public Relations and communication; History; and Social Sciences.

Apply to a Griffith University Arts Degree!


Would you like more information about arts degrees available at Griffith University? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady for more information at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Friday, September 26th, 2014

University of Sydney vet studies link between pet abuse and domestic violence

Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science Pathology Resident Dr Lydia Tong has shown vets how to tell the difference between bone fractures caused by accidents and those caused by abuse.

Pet abuse and domestic violence are closely linked. Dr Tong’s fracture identification methods are giving vets the added confidence to identify cases of violence against pets and could serve as a warning of domestic violence.

University of Sydney Veterinary School

The Sydney Vet School Emergency Hospital sees pet abuse cases

Now, in a new study with Domestic Violence NSW, Dr Tong, from the Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, is looking deeper into the connections between animal abuse and domestic violence to assess the need for better services to protect both human and animal victims.

“Around seventy percent of women escaping violent homes also report pet abuse,” Dr Tong said. “So vets are often the first to see evidence of abuse in a family, when they treat injured pets.”

“Different forces on bones can tell a story—the skeleton of an animal keeps a distinct record that indicates the force applied to bones from past injuries, breaks or fractures. But it can often be difficult for vets to say with confidence whether a fracture has resulted from abuse or accident.”

To give vets this confidence, in a 2014 study, Dr Tong collected cases of abused dogs that were punched, hit with a blunt weapon or kicked, and examined the fractures from these injuries. She then compared these fractures to those caused by genuine accidents. Her results, published in The Veterinary Journal, identified five key features of fractures that vets could look for to distinguish accidents from abuse.

Now, having given vets this reference to diagnose abuse, the Sydney Veterinary School pathology resident and her colleagues are gathering more information on the connections between domestic violence and animal abuse.

“We already know that many women will delay seeking shelter if their pets are threatened or can’t be housed along with them,” explains Dr Tong.

“US studies also tell us that domestic violence perpetrators who also abuse pets are more dangerous—they have increased rates of physical and sexual violence and stalking, and are more likely to kill their partners.

“We need to know more about the relationship between animal and human abuse in Australia so that we can recognise abuse earlier, save lives, and provide appropriate services for victims and for their pets.”

The study will survey victims of domestic violence who are also pet owners.

“Perpetrators of violence will often threaten to abuse or harm family pets as a way to exert control,” said Moo Baulch, CEO of Domestic Violence NSW.

“This research is essential because we need to have a much clearer picture of the connections between domestic and family violence and the abuse of animals.

Building a solid evidence base in this area will assist policymakers, domestic and family violence services and people working with animals to better respond to the needs of women and children with pets who are experiencing violence and are afraid to leave.”

Dr Tong and her team are keen to hear from other domestic violence support agencies, services or refuges that would be willing to be involved with this study.

Sydney Veterinary School Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

The Sydney DVM is an exciting new graduate entry veterinary program, commencing in 2015. The DVM replaces the university’s existing Bachelor of Veterinary Science, and is open to applicants with a completed bachelor’s degree who wish to study veterinary medicine in a postgraduate learning environment. This program is internationally recognised and accredited so graduates can work around the world.

Program title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March 2015
Program duration: 4 years
Application deadline: October 31, 2014

Admissions Criteria/Entry Requirements for Canadians

Students can apply for a position into the Sydney DVM after completing any kind of bachelor’s degree at a recognized university, as long as program prerequisite units of study have been met.

Applicants must have completed the following prerequisite units of study at bachelor’s degree level to be eligible for entry:

  • general chemistry (physical and inorganic)
  • organic chemistry
  • biology
  • biochemistry

The minimum GPA for entry is a 2.8 on a 4.0 scale; however, places are limited and there is a strict quota for this course. Entry is highly competitive so students who have achieved the minimum GPA (and other admission requirements) are then ranked on academic performance. The higher your GPA, the better your chances of receiving an offer.

Apply to the Sydney Veterinary School!


If you have questions about Sydney Veterinary School and the new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!