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Victims of home violence could be spared court ‘trauma’

Victims could be spared the trauma of having to recount their abuse if police body worn camera footage was used as evidence in court, a Sunshine Coast MP says.

Ninderry MP and shadow police minister Dan Purdie said police had long been campaigning for body worn camera footage to be used as a victim's statement in court.

He said evidence obtained as police arrived to a domestic violence matter was often stronger than a formal statement made in the days after.

"The problem is … a lot of these victims are in this cycle of abuse, so then a week or two later they're back to normal, they're used to it," Mr Purdie said.

In order to press charges, victims must give a formal, signed statement to police and if the case goes to a court hearing, they will often be required to retell their story in front of their abuser.

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A Sunshine Coast woman who claims her ex-partner repeatedly assaulted her told the Daily how traumatising it was to recount the incident in court.

"They have to do something about the legal process," the woman said.

"It's not there to protect the victim, it's there to give the perpetrator an avenue to appeal and it shouldn't be like that.

"It's so traumatising to have to go through stuff again and to have to re-hear it."

Shadow police minister Dan Purdie says police body worn camera footage should be used as evidence in domestic violence cases. Photo: Lachie Millard
Shadow police minister Dan Purdie says police body worn camera footage should be used as evidence in domestic violence cases. Photo: Lachie Millard

Sunshine Coast Police Prosecutions officer-in-charge Dave Bradley said being able to use fresh evidence from a body worn camera in place of a victim's statement would save a victim being re-traumatised from having to give evidence.

"If that video recording of the first incident is there, that's it," Senior Sergeant Bradley said.

"That evidence is done.

"That video should be her version and is should be admissible in court.

"That would save a lot of trauma for victims."

Mr Purdie said measures like using body worn camera footage in court would help "rebalance" the system to better look after the needs of victims.

Queensland Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer and Ninderry Labor candidate Melinda Dodds have been contacted for comment. 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to comment.