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Title: “It’s Like Standing on a Beach, Holding Your Children’s Hands, and Having a Tsunami Just Coming Towards You”: Intimate Partner Violence and “Expert” Assessments in Australian Family Law
Contributor(s): Rathus, Zoe (author); Jeffries, Samantha (author); Menih, Helena  (author); Field, Rachael (author)
Publication Date: 2019
Early Online Version: 2019-03-14
DOI: 10.1080/15564886.2019.1580646
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Abstract: The ways in which postseparation parenting disputes are managed has undergone significant change in Australia since the Family Law Act (Cth) was first enacted in 1975. The best interests of children have always been paramount in children’s cases and over the last 20 years, this concept has been legislatively shaped to include ongoing beneficial post separation parental relationships and protection from harm. A critical piece of evidence to inform a Family Court’s decision making in such matters is a family report, which is an expert assessment compiled by a social science professional. The authors report findings from an Australian based qualitative study exploring the experiences of family report assessment practice from the perspective of victim mothers who have separated from men who perpetrate intimate partner violence. The authors conclude that reforms are necessary to improve the practice and procedure of family report writing in Australia. Such reforms should ensure that the lived experience of victims of intimate partner violence is validated, assessment processes have victim efficacy, and the outcomes of such reports do not put women and their children at ongoing risk of harm.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Victims & Offenders, 14(4), p. 408-440
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1556-4886
Field of Research (FOR): 160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
180113 Family Law
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940403 Criminal Justice
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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