The United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Treatment of Offenders treats domestic violence as a serious offence that affects groups of vulnerable populations, such as children, women and ethnic minorities. In Indonesia, the National Commission on Violence Against Women notes that in 2015 alone, there are recorded reports of 11,207 cases of domestic violence and 60% of those cases are violence against spouses, especially wives. However, many studies that have been done on domestic violence tend to take an indirect route towards reformation in the criminal justice system. This study tries to address some major obstacles to establish a more responsive criminal justice system in handling domestic violence cases. Through a qualitative analysis with statute and case approaches of Indonesian court judgements, this study analyses the system’s way of protecting/neglecting victims’ rights. There are four main obstacles to be discussed. First, many judges still regard domestic violence as a less serious offence, especially in regard to psychological intimidation. Second, punishment for the perpretators is quite moderate compared with the sufferings of the victims. Third, victims are only regarded in court as witnesses and denied their rights as victims. Fourth, there is a kind of social resistance from the community to report domestic violence as a crime. In sum, these obstacles illustrate a culture of neglect that is continuously reinforced by the community and the criminal justice system towards the victims’ physical and mental sufferings in the case of domestic violence.