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Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System

Women’s Safety NSW is a peak representative body for women’s specialist domestic and family violence services in NSW – including all Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services working in 114 Local Courts across NSW and in the Family Law Courts and coordinating the NSW Government’s Victim Safety Response – Safer Pathway. 

We advocate on behalf of our workers for systemic reform to increase women’s safety, justice and wellbeing in the context of domestic and family violence. 

Whilst we are making this submission to the Joint Select Committee, Women’s Safety NSW again reiterates its support for the joint statement submitted by AWAVA and Fair Agenda to the Family Law Inquiry on 18 October 2019.

As articulated in that statement, we believe this inquiry to be both unsafe and unnecessary; prioritising ‘parents’ rights’ to have access to children over safety and further delaying urgently needed reforms which are needed to keep women and children safe. However, despite the fact that we oppose this inquiry, we are participating in order to counteract misinformation and to provide a voice for the victims/survivors of family violence and abuse and frontline workers. 

We reiterate the recommendations made in our previous submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Review of the Family Law System on 9 January 2019, and submit additional recommendations based on the latest survey responses of workers and victims/survivors to make the family law system safer for women and children along with other surveys we have previously conducted. 

Download full submission here.