Whilst COVID – 19 has disrupted life as we know it; looking back it has helped us to incapsulate what is important in life. On a personal level it has shown us not to take the little things for granted; for businesses it has made them look at how they function and how they need to adapt to exist. But on a bigger scale, it has shown our court systems the urgency and importance of domestic violence matters.
The year 2020 has been particularly difficult for those living and enduring lock down whilst in a domestically abusive relationship. With Courts being closed and only able to take limited cases it was quickly recognised by the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia the urgency and need for creation and early recognition of issues of risk.
The Family Court of Australia recently stated, ‘People involved in a parenting case in the Courts will now have a simplified way to provide information—at the very beginning of the process—outlining issues of family violence and other forms of risk. This may include (but is not limited to); child abuse, family violence, substance abuse and mental health, abduction and threats of harm, safety and wellbeing.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and the Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren said “It is critically important that Courts are aware, at the earliest point, of facts and information about safety and issues of risk. This will assist in ensuring that families and their children receive appropriate and targeted intervention in the family law system.”