Ahead of the Joint Select Committee report into Australia’s Family Law System, Pauline Hanson is proposing a national rewrite of domestic violence laws.
The Queensland Senator and One Nation leader believes far too many family law cases have weaponised loose domestic violence laws in an effort to withhold a growing number of parents from seeing their children.
“This conversation is well overdue and I’m not afraid to have it.” Senator Hanson said.
“Domestic violence law varies from state to state and I strongly believe our Federal Courts need a nationalised, standard definition.”
Senator Hanson is calling for domestic violence to be broken into three categories – Domestic Harassment, Domestic Threat & Domestic Violence.
“What I’ve taken from this inquiry into Australia’s Family Law System is that most Judges are overworked, their daily dockets are beyond acceptable, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise they don’t have the time to read pages and pages of submissions when a case is first presented due to the backlog in our Family Law Courts.”
“Submissions have revealed parents charged with domestic violence for simply sending text messages to their former partner seeking a time to see their children.”
Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Act 2012 arms separated couples with an ability to charge the other with domestic violence if repeatedly contacted by a former partner by telephone, SMS message, email or social networking sites without the person’s consent.
“When a Judge makes interim orders, the first sign of domestic violence is typically met with a less favourable judgment against the alleged perpetrator, with privileges and access to children often restricted.”
Senator Hanson said, “I have read submissions of what this does to a parent who simply wants to see or speak to their children. They hardly deserve the label of a domestic violence perpetrator for trying to be a loving, involved parent.”
The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act also carries unintended consequences for police, blue card holders, military personnel, and the livelihoods of anyone who requires a gun licence.
“Again, we’re seeing partners who work in these professions threatened with domestic violence charges as a means to control the outcome of a separation settlement.”
“I’m not asking for a watering down of charges for those people who physically or sexually abuse their partners. I’m seeking to amend the damage being caused by such a broad brush approach to domestic violence.”
“Sadly state by state laws surrounding domestic violence are too often acting against the best interest of the child.”
The Joint Select Committee report into Australia’s Family Law System will be tabled on Tuesday, 16th of March.