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

Jelica , 52420  /  signed 2015-12-18 09:53:35 +1100
Jelica , 52420  /  signed 2015-12-18 09:53:34 +1100
Luke , 4740  /  signed 2015-12-16 21:14:26 +1100
Nicki , 3340  /  signed 2015-12-16 20:44:55 +1100
"Abusers will take the stage in court to crush their victim. They are disordered individuals who thrive on power. Don’t give them that power in a courtroom."
Taryn , 19148  /  signed 2015-12-16 17:22:32 +1100
Sharon , 5173  /  signed 2015-12-13 23:18:24 +1100
"In a climate of calling abuse for what it is, psychological violation is still abuse, even within the court system"
Margaret , 4000  /  signed 2015-12-09 09:55:32 +1100
"As a lawyer who used to practice in family law, I have seen the trauma caused to DV victims through cross-examination by their former partners and also by barristers who can be just as devastating in their manner of cross-examination as their former partners."
Monique , 3070  /  signed 2015-12-08 14:06:02 +1100
"Because the legal system advantages women."
Wilbur , 2605  /  signed 2015-12-08 11:39:10 +1100
Kerrie , 6014  /  signed 2015-12-07 22:17:27 +1100
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