IN more than 40 years behind the bench, Magistrate John Murphy has seen it all.
From heroin addicted criminals in the 1980s and 90s, to increased gang violence in recent decades, phases of crime have come, gone or morphed into something new and more dangerous.
But now Mr Murphy says there are two things keeping him in a job: the drug ice, and domestic violence.
Seeing case after case of family violence in the home on a daily basis, Mr Murphy expressed his hope the latest approach would result in change while he still served as a magistrate.
He made the comments in support of the Royal Commission into Family Violence while sentencing a man in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for unlawful assault against a woman in their home.
The Bendigo man had pulled the woman by the hair, threatened her with a hammer and punched a hole in a wall.
When the man described the incident as a “storm in a teacup”, Mr Murphy took great exception.
“You called it a storm in a teacup – is that really appropriate?” he said.
“It’s the same old story of the victim being forced to leave the home because of a man’s actions.
“I would say 99 per cent of this kind of violence that comes before me is perpetrated by men.
“I could give each of them a copy of the royal commission – they all need to read it.”
Premier Daniel Andrews promised to implement all 227 recommendations made by the royal commissioner, including the establishment of one-stop safety hubs, new laws to allow information sharing and an expansion of the “safe at home” approach, forcing domestic violence perpetrators to leave the home.
Mr Murphy said it was impressive – and rare – to see a premier promise to make such wide-ranging reforms.
“To the credit of Premier Daniel Andrews, he is a man of action. He has accepted all of the recommendations from the royal commission,” he said.
“Hopefully it is going to address things drastically with family violence.”