Family court

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

WIN! The Government finally passed a hugely important reform that will protect victim-survivors in Family Court. This campaign came about because of the incredible bravery and advocacy of Eleanor, a survivor of family violence who asked Fair Agenda members to stand with her and the Women’s Legal Services Australia to build pressure on the Government to update these laws. Thank you to all the Fair Agenda members that were part of the campaign supporting this important reform!


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


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


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. 


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Latest activity

Emma , 2602  /  signed 2016-06-16 19:44:20 +1000
Michelle , 2029  /  signed 2016-06-04 14:20:52 +1000
Lynn , 4702  /  signed 2016-06-03 06:34:27 +1000
"Lynn Austin"
Sandra , 2800  /  signed 2016-05-31 10:43:47 +1000
eileen , 3942  /  signed 2016-05-30 15:54:15 +1000
"Its extremely important because the Victim is already traumatised from abuse in all forms she should not have to be abused all over again by the very violent abuser who has repeatedly exposed her and her children to years of vicious attacks. The victims deserve respect and dignity from the courts and a large part of that respect has to come from the judges who understand the impact violence has on the victims and therefore allow the woman to be free from her attacker and to be independently cross examined by a rational professional person!!!!"
Kathryn , 4102  /  signed 2016-05-30 13:40:02 +1000
Lily , 3170  /  signed 2016-05-05 20:56:44 +1000
"Mr Brandis needs to step up or step out."
Kerri-Anne , 2357  /  signed 2016-05-05 12:31:06 +1000
"because being put through a family law system and having to be put through any form of horrific cross examination and have to relive it and be put back through it even know Parental Allienation was involved and the children were Alienated against me , the Judge in all his so called wisdom placed my children with the Abuser to be further abused!! They are Adults today, my eldest is fighting this same system right now whilst my other 4 , 3 of which have followed the abusers behaviour !! Proof is in the pudding, cycle won’t break until the courts and police ban together and put a stop to the Abusers!!"
Deb , 4035  /  signed 2016-05-05 09:14:56 +1000
Falon , 4557  /  signed 2016-05-04 21:27:54 +1000
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