Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence

On 4 June 2020, the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs adopted an inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence. The inquiry was referred by the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston.

Submissions close:  Friday, 24 July 2020

Through this inquiry the Committee will seek to inform the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

Terms of reference for the inquiry, information about how to participate, and principles on the acceptance of evidence to the inquiry are available on this website.

Conduct of the inquiry

The Committee wants to ensure that its findings are informed by those with either professional or personal experience of family, domestic and sexual violence. However, the Committee is aware that for individuals affected by 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, including:

• written submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference to be received by Friday, 24 July 2020;
• public hearings to gather evidence from stakeholders, including government agencies, non-government and community organisations, experts, and others;
• closed sessions where individuals may be invited by the Committee to make short statements about their experiences over the telephone.

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

Treatment of submissions

Confidential and name withheld submissions

You can ask the Committee to accept a confidential or name withheld submission.

Confidential submissions are only read by members of the Committee and the secretariat and are not published.

Name withheld submissions are published on the Committee's website with personal information redacted.

Content of submissions

Submissions should address one of more of the terms of reference.

A template is available to assist individuals to prepare a submission. The Committee encourages individuals to prepare submissions using the template, however this is not required.

The Committee has determined that any submission that identifies parties, makes allegations of family, domestic or sexual violence, or contains adverse reflections will be accepted as confidential. The Committee will not accept court documents, financial documents, or medical records as part of submissions.

Submissions can be sent by email to or by clicking on the 'Upload Submission' button on this website.

Processing and publication of submissions

Please note that all documents sent to the inquiry become Committee documents on receipt, and are only accepted and published following a decision of the Committee.

The processing and publishing of submissions is not an automated process and may take some time (from days to several weeks or more). Once the Committee has made a decision about accepting and publishing your submission, you will receive a formal acknowledgement by email advising you of the Committee’s decision.

Public hearings

The Committee intends to hold public hearings at a later stage in the inquiry. Information about any public hearings will be made available on this website.

Community statements

In addition to holding public hearings, the Committee may invite individual members of the community to make short statements to the Committee about their experiences, over the telephone in a private session.

Individuals interested in making a short statement are asked to complete an expression of interest form and send it by email to

Please note that completing this form does not guarantee that you will be able to make a statement to the Committee. If you are shortlisted to make a statement, you will be contacted by the secretariat for further information.

Support services

Please be aware that the Committee is unable to intervene or provide advice in relation to individual circumstances. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 000. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact one of the services below:

• 1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732
• Lifeline - 131 114
• MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978
• Men’s Referral Service - 1300 766 491
• Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
• Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277
• Help is Here -


Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 4581