AUSTRALIAN of the Year Rosie Batty says the process involved in reporting abuse "has to change" if victims are to escape violent situations.
Ms Batty says harsh judgments and criticism from people who were meant to support victims were not uncommon.
"You can't always trust the response from the people that you need to turn to [to] help you in a way that is non-judgmental," she said on the ABC's Q&A program.
"That is something I would very much like to change in the short term.
"So your journey is as tough going through that process as it is for the abuse that you've been subjected to. And that has to change."
Q&A panellist and Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said the way in which courts dealt with some matters of domestic violence was "archaic" and could be frustrating for police.
Ms Batty said she believed a more "coordinated approach" between police and the courts was important in improving the reporting of domestic violence.