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Sunday
Apr092017

Parliamentary inquiry into a better family law system to support and protect those affected by family violence


On 16 March 2017, a Committee of the Australian Parliament adopted an inquiry into how Australia’s federal family law system can better support and protect people affected by family violence. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis Q.C. The Committee aims to make recommendations that will improve the system for all participants.

Terms of reference for the inquiry and the principles underpinning the conduct of the inquiry are available on this website.

The Committee wants to ensure that its findings are informed by those with personal experience at the intersection of family violence and the family law system. However, the Committee is aware that for individuals affected by family violence, revisiting this experience can cause distress.

As such, during the inquiry, the Committee will use several ways to gather evidence from individuals and organisations:

  • Community statements for individuals who wish to discuss their experiences of the treatment of family violence within the family law system with the committee.
  • Public hearings to gather evidence from stakeholders, including government agencies, non-government organisations, and experts in the policy area.
  • Written submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference to be received by Wednesday, 3 May 2017.

Given the sensitive nature of the inquiry, participants are asked to ensure that the names and identifying details of parties involved in family law matters, particularly children, are not disclosed when providing input to the inquiry.

Please be aware that the Committee is unable to intervene or provide advice or assistance in relation to individual circumstances. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 000. If you are experiencing distress or would like to speak with someone about your situation, the following support services are available:

  • 1800RESPECT National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service: 1800 737 732
  • Men's Referral Service: 1300 766 491
  • Lifeline: 131 114
  • Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Inquiry secretariat contact:

Inquiry into a better family law system
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 4230
Fax: +61 2 6277 8463
fvlawreform@aph.gov.au

One in Three would encourage anyone with the time and resources to lodge a formal submission to this inquiry. If you are an individual who has been affected by family violence and has been through the family law system, PLEASE take 5 minutes to lodge a community statement or complete the short online questionnaire. Your voice needs to be heard in order to make the family law system fairer and safer for all.

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Reader Comments (1)

I was the victim of domestic violence for nearly 13 years by my partner. She thought it was ok for her to take her anger out on me, her son to another man and on occasion our daughters. She blamed her childhood upbringing for her violent nature. Her mother was a drug addiction and had a number of children to different men, until she passed away as a result of a drug overdose. My former partner said her mother used to beat her male partners and she saw it all, so she was of the opinion all through her childhood and still now that it was normal for women to attack and bash men. It would take very little for my former partner to lose her temper, and when she did whatever was within her reach would be used as a weapon against me. For years I tried to find a help service for the men who suffered from domestic violence but there was none. I tried my best, along with our doctor to get her to face the fact she had issues with domestic violence. We managed to convince her to seek help by going to talk to a counsellor, it only lasted a few visits as the counsellor identified she had issues that went back to her childhood and when the focus got turned directly to her she refused to go any more, saying I don't have any anger /violence issues. I can remember having to call the police one occasion when she tried to stab me with a broken glass, but when the police arrived they looked at me like I was the violent one, but I was the one with all the scratch marks and bruising, she didn't have a single Mark on her at all. What really made things worse was as soon as the police arrived she immediately told them that her uncle was a police officer and the impact it had was blatantly obvious. I'm against domestic violence with all my heart but it needs to be recognised by all authorities that domestic violence isn't gender neutral, all men, women and children can be subjected to domestic violence. It's a sad thing that it occurs at all but I beg the authorities to recognise men are also a victim of domestic violence at the hands of women.

April 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark F

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