More support needed for victims of violent crime

By Tema Hemi

The victims of violent and heinous crimes have responded in the latest government survey on the criminal justice system, most of whom have said more often than not, the justice system is failing to provide sufficient support for them and their families. 

A surge to amend a broken system and an attempt to resource more support for victims of violent and sexual crimes. The family of murder victim Susan Berdett have endured 3 trials over 27 years and only last month finally got the long awaited closure they desperately needed to put this case to rest. Over 600 victims of violent and heinous crimes participated in the new government survey to share their views on the criminal justice system, which is more often than not, not providing enough support for them and their families. Fifty-seven percent of victims said that they either had a poor or very poor overall experience of the criminal justice system. While a further 22 percent say they had an average experience. The government are working towards a reform that will provide a safety net for victims of crime whilst being cross examined in court but will these changes come fast enough to provide more support for victims caught up in the prolonged system of the law.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says, "we've got to get some consistency and even handedness across the system. When the criminal justice system gets it wrong like it did repeatedly in that sort of case, you still gotta know the family of the victim, in that case, Susan Berdett is able to get support. In the end, they want justice."

Jan Logie of the Greens Party and spokeswoman on sexual and domestic violence issues says, "We are driving these changes, as I said in our first year and a half we've got - two pieces of  new legislation, we've got more frontline funding, we've set up a whole of government response and we've got more work on the agenda."