Critical opportunity to stop abusers from cross-examining their victims

Right now there is no law preventing abusive ex-partners from cross-examining their victims in Family Court. 

Yesterday with her National Press Club address Rosie Batty thrust this and other issues back into the media spotlight. This, alongside a looming election and tight polls means we have a powerful opportunity to change this outdated law -- but we'll have to keep up the pressure and show both parties it's an issue that voters care about.

Can you take 2 minutes to send the Attorney-General and Shadow Attorney-General an email urging them to update these outdated laws? 

Email Attorney-General Brandis at senator.brandis@aph.gov.au and Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus at mark.dreyfus.mp@aph.gov.au

Want to know what you should say?

Here are our tips for putting together a quick and effective email (because we know personal emails from voters have more impact than copy and pastes):

  • Introduce yourself - Explain where you live and why you care about this issue. If you live in a marginal electorate be sure to mention it.  
  • Explain the reason you're emailing - Let them know that you're extremely concerned about the fact that there is no law preventing abusers from directly cross-examining their victims in family court. 
  • Urge them to commit to update the laws to address this problem. 
  • Thank them for their time.

A reminder to send your email to both Attorney-General George Brandis at senator.brandis@aph.gov.au, and Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus at mark.dreyfus.mp@aph.gov.au.

Once you've sent your email, please forward us a copy at info@fairagenda.org so we can keep track of all the powerful messages being sent.

 

Want to know more? (click to view)

This call for reform is part of the Women's Legal Services Australia 'Safety First' platform. 

In addition:

  • The Productivity Commission recommendation made in December 2014 that the federal government amend the law to address this problem.
  • Lawyers working with survivors of violence are concerned the current system is leading to poor outcomes for vulnerable children; because many survivors feel pressured to settle before their family law trial because they're afraid their perpetrator will continue the abuse in the court through cross-examination.

-References-

Family Court decisions can lead to 'diabolic' situations, says Rosie Batty, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2016.