Forum Chance For Grassroots Perspective On Domestic Violence Issues

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3rd December 2009, 11:45am - Views: 975

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News Release/Diary note for Friday Dec 4 in Brisbane

Forum chance for grassroots perspective on domestic violence issues

Representatives of the Australian Law Reform Commission will meet with over 100 delegates at a forum

in Brisbane to discuss the complex interaction between state and territory family and domestic violence

and child protection laws and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). 

The ALRC, in collaboration with the NSW Law Reform Commission, and in consultation with other

states and territories, is investigating this issue following recommendations to the Australian Government

by the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their children in April this year. 

The forum is an initiative of the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

(QCDFVR) based at CQUniversity. Professor Rosalind Croucher, lead commissioner with the ALRC,

will present the opening address at the forum, providing an overview of the investigation’s terms of

reference and process.  QCDFVR Director, and Deputy Chair of the National Council to Reduce Violence

against Women and their Children, Heather Nancarrow says,

“This forum is an opportunity for grassroots advocates and practitioners in the domestic violence, child

protection and family law areas to meet directly with the ALRC and tell them what happens on the ground

for families affected by domestic violence and who are needing to negotiate the child protection and

family law systems”. 

“Throughout its extensive consultation, the National Council consistently heard that the current lack of

systemic coordination between these areas of law and practice was compromising the safety of women

and children,” she continued.   

The forum will be held at the State Library of Queensland from 8.30am till 1pm on Friday Dec 4 and

is filled to capacity with representatives from government and non-government agencies and others

wanting to participate in the discussion and have their voices heard. 

According to Ms Nancarrow, recent changes to the family law system have added to the complexity of

navigating that system, particularly for those affected by domestic and family violence. “For some

women”, she said, “it may seem just too hard, or too dangerous, to try to advocate for themselves and

their children”.  “On the other hand” said Ms Nancarrow, “the Australian Government has demonstrated

commitment to ensuring that safety is not compromised by ineffective or inappropriate systems, and this

investigation is part of that commitment.” ENDS

For further details contact Heather Nancarrow: (07) 4940 7834 or 0408 158 952.

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