… not every victim of severe [intimate partner violence] uses retaliatory physical violence from a position of self-protection, as opposed to reacting with anger to what has been done to her. This means that it cannot be assumed that even if self-defence is appropriately reformed and sensitively applied in such cases, that it will necessarily always be available on the facts. In one of our regional reviews, the female offender had a very strong case for provocation but was unable to argue it because it had been abolished prior to the killing. Self-defence was also not available on the facts.
9.3In this chapter, we look at how the criminal justice system has responded on a case by case basis to victims of family violence who have killed abusers, particularly where the defendant did not rely successfully on self-defence. We look at how defendants were charged, whether they pleaded guilty or went to trial and how they were convicted and sentenced. We build on the summary of our case review in Chapter 3.