In Family Court there are the three monkeys when you mention Family Violence, see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, I just can’t work out which one is worse.
In a letter I received from the Attorney General of Australia it states; The family law system plays an important role in helping to identify families at risk and protect them from harm.
I have sat in the Court room on many occasions when Family Violence has been overlooked, belittled or put aside. All of those outcomes are unacceptable. The Court has clear directions but in my belief is refusing to follow them.
The Independent Children’s Lawyer has the same directions in regards to Family Violence but due to a lack of training and knowledge again belittles, overlooks or ignores the Family Violence.
The Family Consultant or Expert report writers guidelines state that if Family Violence is mentioned they should conduct a risk assessment. First there is no direction to what a risk assessment is and secondly how do a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist with no training in Family Violence undertake the risk assessment.
I am often asked should I mention Family Violence in Court. This is a difficult question to answer. Unfortunately Family Violence is often used as a defence when it doesn’t exist, usually by narcissistic, controlling parents who are in fact the abusers but are often believed in Court. So when a parent goes to Court and mentions Family Violence the Court has to deuterium, if that parent is making false allegation or if there really is Family Violence.
I have heard a report writer on the stand say…. There were no visible injuries. Family Violence is so much more that physical. All the work the Family Violence campaigners are doing (which is to be commended) the Courts simply aren’t listening.
I hear almost daily that you don’t know how bad the system is until you are in it.. that is so true, so spread the word let people know, Family Violence in many cases is not recognised.
The Courts, ICL’s and report writers in my opinion struggle with the issue of Family Violence and in many of the cases they get it so wrong. The image of the three monkeys rings true they don’t want to see it, hear it or speak it because it simply complicates court cases.
This story was written by Annie Kelly and has been copied from here.
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