Witness fears call to court for domestic violence case

A BUNDABERG woman has been left feeling like the victim after trying to stand up against domestic violence.

The woman has been threatened with fines and jail time if she fails to appear in court on a summons to give evidence about what she saw after notifying police about a domestic violence situation involving her neighbours.

"The screams were terrifying," she said.

"I panicked and just called 000.

"The children were outside and hiding."

The woman said she asked to remain anonymous, as she just wanted to make sure the children were safe and try to get some help offered to her female neighbour.

"They asked my details and said it was just for their records. I was a bit naive in that, I suppose," she said.

The woman said after the situation had been defused, the police came knocking on her door, which immediately put her on edge, scared her neighbours would see the police at her home.

"They (police) were harassing me to make a statement."

Wanting to stay out of the situation, the woman refused.

Thinking that was the end of her ordeal, she was horrified six months later when a summons arrived asking her to give evidence as an eye-witness.

She said she has been left scared, anxious and nervous about the situation, after being told she would face fines or possible jail time if she didn't go to court, or says "I don't remember".

"These people are violent people," she said.

"They told my husband if they find out who it is (that called police) they would get them and their family and kill their pets.

"I have been on the verge of tears from stress."

The woman feels let down, for trying to do the right thing.

"I have seen all the messages to speak up and not just stand by," she said.

"I am not going to lift a finger ever again.

"Why would you when you are putting yourself and your family in danger."

The woman said she was afraid of what could happen to her and her family if she went to court.

"It is horrendous, I feel like I am the victim."

Queensland Police Service issued a statement in relation to the NewsMail's questions about the situation.

"When investigating domestic violence incidents police talk to witnesses and informants as part of their investigation. There can be some discretion in how this is done," the statement read.

"If the evidence of a witness is crucial to the Queensland Police Service case, then they will be summonsed.

"Witnesses play a key role in the court process. There are a number of options available for a person to give evidence without having to confront a defendant, including via phone.

"We always encourage members of the community to report crime. If people are not prepared to make a stand against domestic violence, then it will continue to be an issue in the community."



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