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Shaping Australia’s family law courts

No to Violence welcomed the opportunity to provide comment to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Law System.

The Family Advocacy and Support Service (FASS) provides a proactive response to engaging with those involved in family law proceedings who are affected by violence. The service aims to increase the focus on risk assessment and safety planning for all to ensure safe, responsive and appropriate outcomes.

No to Violence envisions a family law system that more equitable, economical and efficient and that serves the families who enter it. We contend that it should hold a safety lens at its core, contribute to the broader policy agenda of family violence perpetrator accountability, and make well-informed decisions on the best interests of children.

  • Improve safety: the system can, at times, provide inadequate responses to the needs of all parties, especially children, and can escalate risk associated with family violence.
  • Better contribute to family violence perpetrator accountability: currently, a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and impacts of family violence is inconsistent across both the system and the professionals working within it.
  • Building on the evidence: No to Violence recommended that the review take into consideration the exploration of issues, analysis, and recommendations made in the submission, which builds on evidence provided in previous submissions.

In the period of July 2019 to December 2019, No to Violence’s FASS staff provided services to 215 clients who were alleged to have used family violence, including counselling, safety planning, referrals, risk assessment and advocacy.

No to Violence is highly supportive of family law reform and hopes to expand the areas and jurisdictions that it works.