We know there are still many issues with the family law system that put women and children in danger.
Together we’ve been doing everything we can to raise awareness, talking about our ‘Justice for Kids’ petition and the Women’s Legal Services 5-step plan to put safety first in family law.
But recently it’s become clear to me that one problem in particular is so urgent that we need to get focused. It’s a problem that many in the community don’t even know exists.
In the family law system today, victims can still be directly cross-examined by their abuser in court.
“To the court, his questions would have seemed standard or only mildly intrusive; but for me standing there, being forced to answer him each time he spoke to me, was soul wrenching.” - Anonymous
‘Really???’ I imagine you thinking. I get the same reaction everywhere I go. People are often incredibly shocked to learn that this could be allowed to happen in 2016.
Being directly questioned in court by an abusive ex-partner is not only traumatising, it can also affect the victim’s ability to give evidence clearly and accurately.
This can prevent important information being made available to the court to protect children from violence and means dangerous decisions are being made.
I think it’s important that as many people as possible know that this is still happening in 2016. Please share our image on social media to spread the word and build our campaign for change.
Ending the cross-examination by violent ex-partners is a practical, fast step that the federal government can take immediately to empower victims to give evidence without fear.
There is no reason we can’t extend protection to victims in the family law system as an urgent priority.
We need people to know about the problem so our leaders are forced to act. Please let your friends know on social media to raise awareness and demand change.
By empowering victims to give evidence without fear, courts will be able to better detect risks of violence and keep our kids safe in family law matters.
Thanks for standing with me,