Skip to content
Community, Women

National reforms needed to address the domestic and family violence crisis

National Legal Aid and Women's Legal Services Australia 2 mins read

National Legal Aid and Women’s Legal Services Australia have today released a joint statement outlining seven key priority national legal and policy reforms needed, to address the domestic and family violence crisis across Australia.

Suggested reforms include establishing a national risk information sharing scheme; increasing service availability and supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victim-survivors; and undertaking policy and law reform that ensures both access to child support for victim survivors and the reduction of ongoing family violence within the child support system.

Read the statement outlining key reforms in depth.

This statement is acknowledgement of the commitment of the Federal and State/Territory Attorneys-General to consider national reforms to end gender-based violence, and in recognition of their upcoming meeting on Friday 5 July for further discussions.

National Legal Aid and Women’s Legal Services Australia are key national bodies for critical legal assistance services for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence, who see first-hand the impacts of the current gaps in national co-ordination and collaboration within the legal system.

We call on the Attorneys-General to commit to these seven national priority reforms as a matter of urgency, identify necessary funding and to work alongside key representative bodies to develop a trauma-informed, culturally-safe, and gender-led plan for their implementation.

Quotes attributable:

Katherine Mckernan, Executive Director, National Legal Aid:

Legal Aid services provide critical legal assistance to victim-survivors of domestic and family violence across the legal system, including family law, child protection and criminal law. We see first-hand the impacts of current gaps within the legal system, and our statement of key reforms can immediately address these gaps for women and children in need.

A national family violence risk information sharing scheme and register would ensure that relevant services have access to family court & family violence orders, as well as detail on other risk factors essential to keeping women and children safe. This would help keep victim-survivors from falling through the gaps, make sure their safety is prioritised and limit the number of times that they need to tell their story to remain safe.

Elena Rosenman, Chair, Women’s Legal Services Australia:

Women’s Legal Services Australia has long been advocating for national law reform, policy and systemic change to improve the lives of victim-survivors of domestic and family violence. We have recommended priority reforms that must be urgently implemented to ensure women can escape and recover from violence safely.

Federal, state and territory governments must prioritise legal assistance funding in their efforts to end gender-based violence. We need significant investment in the legal assistance sector to address chronic underfunding and meet the significant levels of demand from women in crisis.

Contact details:

For further comment please contact: Katherine McKernan 0425 288 446

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.