Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) strongly states our opposition to the proposed Parliamentary Inquiry into the family law system. Numerous other inquiries, reviews and evidence gathering processes have already told government what reforms are required to improve the family law system as a whole, and most critically for victim-survivors of family violence including children and young people. Mostly recently, the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 18-month review of the family law system which made 60 recommendations for reform which the government have not engaged with the sector on to date.
Alison Macdonald, CEO of DV Vic says, ‘Now is the time for action on victim safety, not for another inquiry. We know what needs to be done. There should be no more delays.’
Utmost in our concerns is that an unnecessary Inquiry would go ahead lead by government representatives who hold uninformed opinions on the complexities of the family law system and family violence, and the harmful impacts the family law system has on victim-survivors of family violence, particularly women and children.
Alison Macdonald concludes, ‘The best thing government could do now is to consult with experts in the fields of family violence and family law on the way forward using existing evidence.’
Meredith Eldridge, Communications & Membership Coordinator, Domestic Violence Victoria