The recent case of the alleged Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm between the accused Anthony Bell, director of medical services at St John of God Hospital Midland, and the complainant Rabia Siddique, a former international human rights lawyer, is telling on a number of fronts.
Points of consideration
Firstly, this case demonstrates that allegations of domestic violence (DV) pervade all social and economic strata. Whether you are poor or rich, or at the top of your profession or jobless, it makes no difference to which couples find themselves before a DV court.
Secondly alcohol in excess and drug use is not found in every case but certainly is a trigger for many cases.
Thirdly, DV is not ethnically anchored, although in our experience certain ethnic groups may be greater represented in DV courts than others.
Fourthly, incidents of alleged domestic violence mostly occur in private settings and in the absence of witnesses, so any trial is really about what she says and what he says — what is referred to in law as oath-on-oath.
Finally, allegations of DV can be true or fabricated. Reasons for someone complaining to police that they were assaulted in the home may be because it happened, they were assaulted, or it did not happen, they were not assaulted. In the latter case the complainant is simply lying — the question is why? In the latter instance, we dig deeply into the background of how matters between the parties got to the DV courts.
Some of the factors unearthed include the complainant wanting exclusive access to children and property (particularly prevalent in Family Court proceedings).
The court in the Siddique v Bell case found that the complainant held a vendetta against the
accused and found in favour of Dr Bell. Costs were awarded to him in the sum of $15,000.