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

Norm , 3282  /  signed 2015-11-04 23:18:38 +1100
"Attorney, I seek justice and protection of such vulnerable people who have been forced to endure such oppression is surely a must. The continuation of the violence in a court of law is surely an injustice to the extreme. How can justice be seen to be done in this situation. It is as if the courts could be seen as promoting an un safe environment."
Ted , 3282  /  signed 2015-11-04 22:53:47 +1100
"We must help people when they are most vulnerable. We definitely want to work hard to ensure those abused can heal an not let the damage pass to the next generation."
Wendy , 4563  /  signed 2015-11-04 19:50:02 +1100
Jeanette , 5076  /  signed 2015-11-04 17:39:02 +1100
Selena , 3847  /  signed 2015-11-04 17:20:23 +1100
Carolyn , 2127  /  signed 2015-11-04 17:00:44 +1100
"Without reciprocal rights questioning is unfair and demoralising."
Rya , 5063  /  signed 2015-11-04 11:58:16 +1100
Glynis , 2640  /  signed 2015-11-04 11:35:03 +1100
marian , 3175  /  signed 2015-11-04 10:36:21 +1100
Julia , 3068  /  signed 2015-11-03 23:52:42 +1100
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