Family court

No one should have to be cross-examined by their abuser

Right now there are no legal protections in place to stop abusive ex-partners from cross-examining those they have abused in family courts.1 As Eleanor, the survivor leading the call to change this horrifying system explains, this cruel gap needs to be addressed:

"The day I stood on the stand and was forced to answer the questions of a man who had sexually assaulted and abused me for over a decade were a massive slap in the face. And that horrific experience was a major obstacle in my recovery from the trauma of my abuse. No person should have to be cross-examined by the person who sexually assaulted and beat them.” 

Eleanor's local MP has just raised this issue in federal parliament - now Eleanor is asking for your help to build enough community pressure to push Attorney-General George Brandis to address this cruel system. Can you sign the petition and stand with Eleanor?

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence or sexual assault, you can call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for 24/7 support. If you are in immediate danger call 000.

Click here for more information

Under Family Court rules, people without legal representation can currently cross-examine their former partner.2

State and territory courts already have rules in place to make sure this can't happen, but the federally governed family court hasn't yet caught up. Last December the Productivity Commission recommended the law be changed – but the Attorney-General still hasn't responded to the recommendation.3

-References-

1, 2, 3. Victorian MP pushing to end Family Court cross-examinations by abusive ex-partners, ABC News, 19 October 2015.

5,439 SIGNATURES SO FAR

To Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC,

We call on you to urgently introduce a law to prevent abusers from cross-examining their victims in family court. 

Signed,

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Latest activity

Melissa , 2257  /  signed 2017-04-28 12:17:44 +1000
"Melissa Olsen"
Anne , 4159  /  signed 2017-04-17 11:24:26 +1000
Chris , 4508  /  signed 2017-04-17 01:02:28 +1000
"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 and impact of their ability to recover."
Rosemary , 2049  /  signed 2017-04-03 20:46:13 +1000
"Rosemary Isaacs"
Seane , 4060  /  signed 2017-03-10 09:35:19 +1100
Donna , 4305  /  signed 2017-03-09 17:22:45 +1100
Josephine , 4655  /  signed 2017-03-08 22:00:33 +1100
Heath , 4103  /  signed 2017-02-23 10:32:53 +1100
Robin , SY22 6QE  /  signed 2017-02-14 23:57:59 +1100
"I am very close with a woman who is also a victim of a decade of abuse from the man who was sentenced for her rape and then used the threat of applying for paternity to continue to abuse her for a decade after his release. Now she is terrified to get an intervention order in case he does apply for paternity in revenge. After a particularly bad beating and rape she has reported this to the Police but at this stage nobody knows where it will go. Giving this man any rights at all to have anything to do with her or her child is a travesty."
Christine , 4161  /  signed 2017-01-28 14:43:40 +1100
"Christine Irwin"
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