Safety in the Family Court
ANROWS Notepad | 6 May 2021
FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA AND FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA
Courts to receive training in the Safe & Together Model™
Domestic and family violence is an experience common to many of the individuals and families engaged with the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
The Courts view the safety of children and families as their highest priority, and as such, it was recently announced that judges, registrars, family consultants and other Courts staff will receive training in the Safe & Together Model, developed in 2006 by David Mandel at the Safe & Together Institute. While child protection was initially the focus of the Institute, this has now broadened into systems change across different sectors, including family courts.
Announcing the training on 21 April, the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren, said, “The courts are very pleased to have engaged the services of Mr Mandel to deliver training this year that will focus on issues such as the protection of children in the context of family violence, identification of protective parenting, coercive controlling behaviours and the impact of family violence on children.”
The Model takes a behavioural approach to understanding the impact of patterns of perpetrator violence on child and family functioning, and it has formed the basis of a number of ANROWS research projects, notably “Invisible practices: Interventions with fathers who use violence” and “STACY for Children”.
David Mandel noted, “With this training, Australia’s family law courts are well-placed as a global leader in the reform of family court domestic violence practices. We’re proud to be part of this effort and are hopeful that families using the Courts will reap the benefits of them becoming more domestic violence-informed.”
ANROWS will soon be hosting a webinar on safety in the Family Court: see below for further details.
FIRST NATIONS DEATHS IN CUSTODY
Select Committee on the high level of First Nations people in custody
On the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, NSW Parliament tabled a new report aimed at tackling high levels of Indigenous incarceration in New South Wales. As the report notes, “Much of the evidence to the inquiry focused on the over-representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system, including the historical, social and economic drivers that contribute to disproportionate incarceration rates of First Nations people.”
ANROWS made a submission to this Inquiry, and our CEO, Dr Heather Nancarrow, provided in-person testimony which, alongside other sector organisations, highlighted that women’s imprisonment wasn’t following the same downward trend as men’s imprisonment. Drawing on ANROWS research on misidentification of victims as perpetrators of domestic violence, Heather highlighted the way First Nations women are disproportionately and inappropriately brought into the criminal justice system under the domestic violence laws designed to protect them.
The final report recommends that the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, in conjunction with the Department of Communities and Justice, conduct research into the growing number of First Nations women in custody, with a view to identifying the causes and factors of this trend.
The ANROWS evidence base was employed to argue for funding for post-release projects like the Miranda Project, the urgent need for housing for First Nations women, Gladue-style reports and better screening of prisoners for mental health conditions including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), all of which are reflected in the final report’s recommendations.
If you are keen to use submissions to put evidence into the hands of decision-makers, head to our Inquiries and submissions page. Past (published) ANROWS submissions can be found on our Resources page.
Safety in the Family Court
One of the major concerns that has arisen through the many new changes and initiatives taking place in the Family Court over the last year is how to keep women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence safe when they engage with the Court.
On Monday 24 May, an expert panel including Dr Jane Wangmann (University of Technology Sydney), Dr Rae Kaspiew (Australian Institute of Family Studies), Janet Carmichael (Child Dispute Services, FCA & FCCA), Tracey Turner (Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service), Angela Lynch AM (Women’s Legal Service Qld) and Molly Dragiewicz (Griffith University) will draw on their diverse experiences to offer insights into improving safety for women and children in the Family Court.
Topics under discussion will include the following:
- What can we learn from what is working?
- What can we learn from what isn’t working?
- Where are the opportunities to build change?
There will also be a live Q&A. The webinar is open to anyone and free to attend, and a recording will be made available on the ANROWS website following the event.
ANROWS WEBINAR RECORDING
Evaluation in the violence against women sector
“Building capacity [to complete evaluation] within your organisation is really empowering, because it enables you to move beyond addressing the evaluation questions that your funder asks of you to actually answering the questions that you think are important for your service to grow, and be impactful for your clients.” Annika Kearton, Acting CEO, ARC Justice
Undertaking evaluation in the violence against women sector is often complex and requires managing various risk, safety and ethical issues.
On Tuesday 27 April, an expert panel including Annika Kearton (Acting CEO, ARC Justice) and Cecilia Hemana (Director, Research and Evaluation, Respect Victoria) explored examples of evaluations they have implemented, sharing strategies and tips for workers in the violence against women sector.
The webinar is now available to watch for free through the ANROWS website.
If you are interested in learning more about evaluation in the sector, ANROWS has also developed a series of Evaluation Quick Guides and a guide for evaluating behaviour change programs for men who use domestic and family violence.
SBS SPECIAL PROGRAMMING
Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month
May is Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Month. SBS is supporting this initiative with programs and content related to domestic and family violence. Tune in to hear Jess Hill present a three-part series, See What You Made Me Do (5 May), and the We Say No More panel discuss impacts of domestic and family violence on First Nations peoples (12 May)
Conferences & events
19 MAY 2021:
Family violence workforce wellbeing during COVID-19
20 MAY 2021:
Rosemary’s Way: Screening and Q&A
21 JULY 2021:
Victim-survivor experiences and advocacy during COVID-19
7 TO 8 OCTOBER 2021:
Indigenous Wellbeing Conference
BREACHES OF FAMILY LAW PARENTING ORDERS: SURVEY
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has been commissioned by ANROWS to undertake research into the compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders. The research will involve multiple studies, including a survey of legal and non-legal professionals working in the family law system.
You are invited to take part in this survey if you are a legal professional (including judicial officers, barristers and solicitors) or non-legal professional (including family dispute resolution practitioners, family violence sector professionals, and professionals working in post-separation support services, such as parenting order programs).
STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONFERENCE
The Stop Domestic Violence Conference, to be held on the Gold Coast from 1 to 3 December 2021, is currently inviting applications. The conference is an opportunity for presenters to share best practice and provide real solutions to ending domestic and family violence, and to help improve access for victims and survivors, perpetrators and the wider community to critical resources, information and services.
Applications are encouraged in a variety of areas, such as Aboriginal self-determined and de-colonised practice; intersectional experiences including disability, LGBTQ and CALD; and research, evidence and emerging concepts.
Submissions are open until Friday 30 July, 2021.
New research and resources
Books and reports
Our Watch. (2021). Respectful relationships education as part of a national approach to preventing gender-based violence. Our Watch. https://education.ourwatch.org.au/resource/respectful-relationships-education-a-brief-for-policy-makers/
Segrave, M., & Pfitzner, N. (2020). Family violence and temporary visa holders during COVID-19. Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre. https://doi.org/10.26180/5f6b1218b1435
Callander, E. J., Bull, C., Baird, K., Branjerdporn, G., Gillespie, K., & Creedy, D. (2021). Cost of intimate partner violence during pregnancy and postpartum to health services: A data linkage study in Queensland, Australia. Archives of Women’s Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-021-01130-7
Buiten, D., & Coe, G. (2021). Competing discourses and cultural intelligibility: Familicide, gender and the mental illness/distress frame in news. Crime, Media, Culture. https://doi.org/10.1177/17416590211009275
Gartland, D., Conway, L. J., Giallo, R., Mensah, F. K., Cook, F., Hegarty, K., Herrman, H., Nicholson, J., Reilly, S., Hiscock, H., Sciberras, E., & Brown, S. J. (2021). Intimate partner violence and child outcomes at age 10: A pregnancy cohort. Archives of Disease in Childhood. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2020-320321
Goodson, A., Garza, A. D., & Franklin, C. A. (2021). Providing support to victims: Police officers’ service referral provision and advocate involvement in domestic violence incidents. Crime & Delinquency. https://doi.org/10.1177/00111287211007742
Gregory, A., Johnson, E., Feder, G., Campbell, J., Konya, J., & Perôt, C. (2021). Perceptions of peer support for victim-survivors of sexual violence and abuse: An exploratory study with key stakeholders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211007931
Natalier, K., Cortis, N., Seymour, K., Wendt, S., & King, D. (2020). Workplace violence against domestic and family violence and sexual assault workers: A gendered, settings-based approach. The British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcaa030
Peterie, M., Marston, G., Humpage, L., Mendes, P., Bielefeld, S., & Staines, Z. (2021). The trope of the vulnerable child in conditional welfare discourses: An Australian case study. Journal of Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833211008984
Stewart, R., Wright, B., Smith, L., Roberts, S., & Russell, N. (2021). Gendered stereotypes and norms: A systematic review of interventions designed to shift attitudes and behaviour. Heliyon, 7(4), e06660. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06660
In the media
Aboriginal women’s coercive control fears—7News.com.au
Children who see mothers abused “more likely to suffer asthma, language problems”—Brisbane Times
The difficulty of talking to parents about sexual assault—ABC Everyday
NSW to trial DV workers at police stations —7News.com.au
A very personal call to action for non-violent men to denounce men’s violence—Monash University Lens
Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston backs closer monitoring of domestic violence abusers—Adelaide Advertiser
Women’s safety cannot be entrusted to police —Sydney Morning Herald
Australia seeks solutions to domestic violence scourge—The World Today, ABC Radio
Mornings Thursday 22 April 2021—ABC Radio Brisbane
Work with ANROWS
Two project officer roles available in Evidence to Action team
ANROWS is seeking two Project Officers to join its Evidence to Action team, which is responsible for ANROWS’s knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) functions.
The Project Officer (Evidence to Action) will be primarily responsible for the implementation and support of ANROWS’s KTE activities, including publications and resources, media and communications, and events.
The Project Officer (ANROWS conference and webinar program) will support the delivery of ANROWS’s 2022 National Conference and its online webinar program.
Both positions are full-time and available until 30 June 2022. The successful applicants will be based at the ANROWS National Office in Sydney.
Applications for both positions close at midnight on Monday 10 May 2021. For more information about the roles, and to apply, visit the Careers page of the ANROWS website.
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