Family violence is defined as the intentional and systematic use of Violence and abuse to create fear and control the victim’s behavior (Loney-Howes et al., 2021). Multiple forms of abuse characterize the experience resulting in physical and sexual, and psychological damage, forced social isolation, economic deprivation, or behavior that causes the victim to live in fear. Family and Domestic Violence usually refers to abuse against an intimate partner. In contrast, family violence is a broader expression encompassing family and Domestic Violence and the abuse of children and other family members (Suppl et al., 2021).
Australia has a long and complicated history of complicated family violence, with various forms of Violence against family members being passed down through generations. However, until the late half of the twentieth century, there was no current idea of family violence as a social problem (Rathus, 2020). A large part of this was due to increased public knowledge of women’s rights issues and a growing recognition that domestic Violence is a pervasive issue in Australian culture.
The release of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against children in 2010 was a watershed moment in a holistic approach to tackling family violence that emphasized prevention, early intervention, and support for victims of domestic abuse. Australia has also placed numerous reviews and amendments to its policies to deal with family violence issues, including the Family Law Amendment Act of 2018 and the National Plan for Family Violence Prevention (2017). The NSW government, in 2018, revised the Cross-examination Act of the Family Law Act 1975 to ensure that adequate safeguards for victims of family violence are in place for cross-examination. The Act prohibits direct cross-examination in certain situations and requires that a legal representative perform it. Moreover, The National Plan has received acclaim for expanding victim support and bringing attention to family violence. However, it has also drawn criticism for not doing enough to address the root causes of domestic abuse. The lack of funding for preventative and early intervention techniques, as well as the lack of a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to execution, have been particular points of criticism.
The predominant ideological influences on current family violence legislation are feminism. This dedication to equality is particularly evident in the prevalence of Violence against women and children, as well as the emphasis on victim care and prevention. The feminist perspective recognizes that family violence is an issue that disproportionately affects women and children and that gender inequality and discrimination are its underlying causes (Hernández, 2019). The feminist perspective also acknowledges that women and kids are more susceptible to Violence.
Another welfare regime’s response to family violence may be seen in NSW, where the government has adopted several programs geared at preventing Violence from occurring in the first place. A national public education campaign titled “It is Not OK,” which tries to change attitudes and behaviors that condone Violence, as well as a variety of organizations and services that assist individuals who have been harmed by Violence, are examples of such initiatives.
How Family Violence Policy Contributes To a More Socially Just Australia
Australia’s family violence policy contributes to a more socially fair society by recognizing family violence as a significant societal problem and taking measures to address it. The passage of legislation and the implementation of regulations protect children from the terrible impacts of domestic Violence. It encourages the government of Australia to take the necessary steps to stop crime and family violence and to make sure that the Family Act Law protects the people who need it the most. Even though the policy has helped to protect victims and prevent Violence over the years, Australia still has a long way to go before it can develop an effective integrated response to the problem of domestic and family Violence. The family and domestic violence awareness and civic campaign from the Australian state territory levels and policies have the potential to contribute significantly to a more socially just Australia.
Family violence has been one of the most significant problems in Australia as well as in other countries around the world. Anyone, regardless of gender, age, culture, socioeconomic background, race, sexual identity, location, or identity, has the potential to become a victim of family violence, and it has the potential to cause harm to anyone. In Australia, family violence is against the law, and individual states also have policies and laws regarding family and domestic Violence. The National Plan for Family Violence Prevention (2017), The Family Law Amendment Act 2018 and the Crimes Act of 2007 is the legal frameworks used to develop the legislation in Sydney NSW. These laws address the problems associated with family violence, protect victims, and ensure that offenders are held accountable.
Hernández, L. H. (2019). Feminist approaches to border studies and gender violence: Family separation as reproductive injustice. Women’s Studies in Communication, 42(2), 130-134.
Loney-Howes, R., MacPhail, C., Hanley, N., & Fabrianesi, B. (2021). Youth Attitudes to Domestic and Family Violence: A Scoping Review of Young People’s Attitudes and Perceptions in Australia. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 15248380211036054.
Rathus, Z. (2020). A history of the use of the concept of parental alienation in the Australian family law system: contradictions, collisions and their consequences. Journal of social welfare and family law, 42(1), 5-17
Supol, M., Satyen, L., Ghayour-Minaie, M., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2021). Effects of family violence exposure on adolescent academic achievement: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 22(5), 1042-1056.