Attorney-General: 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. Eleanor, a family violence survivor is leading the the call to change this horrifying system and make sure no-one else has to endure this invasive and traumatic experience.

Her campaign, and the support of more than 4,000 Fair Agenda members, is making headlines this week. Can you help build the pressure around this issue; and ensure Attorney-General George Brandis knows how much community opposition there is to this cruel flaw in the family law system? 

Take 2 minutes to send him a quick personal email at senator.brandis@aph.gov.au 

 

What should you 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 what you do. If you're a Coalition voter or volunteer; local constituent; or have expertise in the issue area you may want to mention this.
  • Explain the reason you're emailing - Let the Minister know that you're extremely concerned about the fact that in Family Court it is still possible for abusers who represent themselves to cross-examine their victims, and cause them further trauma. 
  • You might want to specifically mention:
    • The Productivity Commission recommendation made in December 2014 that the federal government amend the law to address this problem.
    • That lawyers working with survivors of violence are concerned this process is also leading to poor outcomes for vulnerable children; because many 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.
  • Urge him to update the laws related to the Family Court to address this problem. 
  • Thank the Attorney-General for his time.

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 to the Minister.