Firstly Domestic Violence Victoria would like to acknowledge the tragic loss of Karen Ristevski – a mother, daughter, sister and friend – and the pain caused to her family and friends throughout this time of grief alongside a difficult investigation and criminal trial. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of police and prosecutions in bringing Borce Ristevski to account in the face of evidence limitations and other investigative challenges.
The sentencing outcomes today point to the limitations of the criminal justice system in delivering just outcomes in family violence matters. The evidence shows us that the improvement of family violence outcomes in Victoria is dependent on a whole of community response condemning family violence in all its forms and encompassing prevention, early intervention and crisis responses. Nevertheless, family violence convictions and sentencing sends a strong message to the community, to family violence perpetrators and to victim survivors of family violence. Today we received the message that taking a woman’s life is worth 6 years of a man’s life in prison, and this does not feel like justice for Karen Ristevski and those who loved her.