Whilst COVID – 19 has disrupted life as we know it, looking back it has helped us as a whole 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 its 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 importance of pressing matters concerning those impacted by domestic violence and identifying the urgency of those immediately.
The year 2020 hasn’t been the easiest on any of us, but it has particularly been difficult for those living and enduring lock down whilst in a domestically abusive relationship and/or family. 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, and safety at court.’
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. The new form will assist in ensuring that families and their children receive appropriate and targeted intervention in the family law system.”