Family violence is a serious social issue that affects the health and well-being of thousands of Australians and has far reaching effects on the Australian community as a whole.
The family law system has a role to play in identifying families at risk of violence and protecting them from harm.
The Australian Government has developed a number of measures to improve the family law system's response to family violence and child abuse.
The Family Relationships Online website provides the details of a range of services for families affected by family violence.
Family Law Legislation (Family Violence and Other Measures) Amendment Act 2011
The Family Law Legislation (Family Violence and Other Measures) Amendment Act 2011 (the Family Violence Act), amended the Family Law Act 1975 to help protect children from harm and improve the family law system's response to family violence and abuse.
The amendments do this by encouraging better information about the existence or risk of family violence to be provided to the family courts.
This information helps court officers to assess risks, and make decisions about future parenting arrangements that are safer for children. The amendments will also improve the family courts' ability to identify and respond to cases of violence.
More information on this legislation is available on the Family Violence Act page.
AVERT family violence: collaborative responses in the family law system training package
This training package is designed to give professionals a sound and practical understanding of family violence and promote the safety of those involved in the family law system.
Issues covered include the impact of family violence and strategies for responding to it.
The package was created by this department and caters for a range of professionals working in the family law system.
For more information, or to get a package visit the AVERT Family Violence website.
Coordinated family dispute resolution
The coordinated family dispute resolution pilot program allows family members who are experiencing family violence (or have experienced it in the past) to access a safe family dispute resolution process.
It brings together family dispute resolution practitioners, legal practitioners, domestic violence and men's support services to assist separating parents make parenting arrangements.
The model was developed by the Women's Legal Service in Brisbane.
The pilots are taking place in five locations across the country and are part of the Australian Government's response to the Time for Action report by the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women. The pilot will conclude on 30 April 2013.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies was commissioned to evaluate the pilot. The Final Evaluation Report is available on the Family Law Publications page .