A reduction in the level of family violence will happen when communities come together to change attitudes and violent behaviour.
Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has been taking action in Parliament to support people exposed to ongoing family violence.
As part of her strong representation on the issue, Ms McGowan moved a motion on October 19 calling on the Government to provide legislative protection for vulnerable witnesses in family law court proceedings. This requires an amendment to the Family Law Act to ensure that in family violence situations an unrepresented litigant, alleged or known to have been violent, is unable to directly cross-examine the victim.
“I am humbled to represent the community about this important issue,” Ms McGowan said.
Ms McGowan was joined by Government and Opposition MPs in supporting the motion. A meeting is scheduled with Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, next week to discuss the necessary changes to the legislation. Ms McGowan has also written to the Attorney-General George Brandis asking him to address this legal inconsistency to give victims of family violence further protection.
White Ribbon Day is being recognised on November 25. Events will be held in the North East, including Albury-Wodonga, Benalla and Wangaratta.
Ms McGowan said there is a clear message.
“Let’s end violence in the home,” she said.
“Women need to be safe in their homes. Solving the problem of violence against women needs a whole-of-community approach.
“Everybody needs to stand up, speak out, and take action. Enough is enough.”