QDVSN Response to Family Law Parliamentary Inquiry

24 September, 2019

The Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network (QDVSN) holds grave concerns about the proposed Family Law Parliamentary Inquiry, and strongly urges Parliamentarians to consider the potential harm of such an inquiry.

This inquiry is unneeded, given the number of investigations into Family Law over the last 10 years, the most recent being the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry and recommendations. Furthermore, the focus of this proposed inquiry seeks to discredit survivors of domestic and family violence, (mainly women) who are genuine victims of domestic and family violence and are already discriminated against in a Family Law System that currently places them and their children at risk, as identified in previous investigations into the system.

We demand a fair process for women, a process that is not compromised by inflammatory commentary immediately calling to question the experience of survivors. We want a process where women’s voices are heard and where they are believed and represented at the inquiry, not one that disparages their experiences and utilises a Government system to further abuse, question and cast blame on women who have been actively working to protect themselves and their children from further harm.

The QDVSN believes that rather than a spurious inquiry into the Family Law System, resources would be better utilised to enact recommendations from previous inquiries and reports. We urge the Federal Government to fulfill their role in protecting the most vulnerable in society. We firmly believe that this proposed inquiry goes against this tenet.

Members of the QDVSN publicly acknowledge we are committed to ensuring that the women we collectively work with every day feel they are (and are) believed.  We call Parliamentarians to action, and to stop this potentially damaging inquiry.

On behalf of the Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network (QDVSN)