The parliamentary inquiry into a better family law system to support and protect those affected by family violence tabled its report in the lower house last week. One of the key concerns discussed in the report is the inappropriate response of the family law system to reports of family violence. Among the 33 recommendations, the inquiry chaired by Sarah Henderson MP called for the following short-term reforms: - the earliest possible determination of family violence allegations to enable the courts to make informed decisions about parenting and property matters; - the urgent introduction of legislation to prohibit perpetrators of family violence from cross examining the other party, and - the removal of the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility in the Family Law Act. You can read the full report and recommendations at the link below. Read More →
Australian of the Year 2015 Family violence campaigner
When a grieving mother spoke out calmly just hours after her son’s murder, she gave voice to many thousands of victims of domestic violence who had until then remained unheard. Rosie Batty has risen above her personal tragedy and the great loss of her 11 year old son, Luke, who was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father in a very public assault. Rosie’s story jolted Australia into recognising that family violence can happen to anyone. Victorian Police Chief Commissioner, Ken Lay, praising Rosie as the most “remarkable victim” he has ever met, says Rosie has put domestic violence on the national agenda. Rosie now champions efforts to fight domestic violence, making many media and public speaking appearances to shine a spotlight on the issue and call for systemic changes. Rosie’s incredible strength and selfless efforts are an inspiration to many other victims of domestic violence and her courage and willingness to speak out will make Australia a far better place.