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