Women’s Legal Services Australia, 10th May 2017
Women’s Legal Services Australia (WLSA) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement that it will be introducing legislation to amend the Family Law Act 1975 to prohibit the direct cross-examination of victims of violence in family law proceedings.
Being directly questioned in court by an abusive ex-partner is not only traumatising it also affects the victim’s ability to give evidence. This can prevent important information being made available to the court to protect children from violence in family law proceedings. Ending the cross-examination by violent ex-partners is a practical and important step to empower victims to give evidence without fear.
The Government has also announced additional funding for Community Legal Centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and the family law court system. WLSA welcomes greater investment in these areas.