Responding to family violence

Responding to family violence

Rae Kaspiew  is a  Senior Research Fellow, Rachel Carson is a Research Fellow, Melissa Coulson was a Research Officer,  Jessie Dunstan is a Senior Research Officer and  Sharnee Moore is a Research Fellow  at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

This report was commissioned and funded by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department (AGD).

The authors would like to acknowledge and thank all of those who contributed to or assisted with Responding to Family Violence: A Survey of Family Law Practices and Experiences, including the judicial officers and registrars, lawyers, family consultants, family dispute resolution practitioners and other non-legal professionals who participated in our online surveys. Particular thanks go to all of the parents who participated in the telephone interviews, for their willingness to share with us the pathways to resolving their post-separation parenting and financial arrangements and their experiences of family law services in this regard.

We are grateful for the support and assistance provided by AGD, specifically by AGD officers Tamsyn Harvey, Tracy Ballantyne and Jackie Aumann, and by the team at Department of Human Services - Child Support.

In relation to the survey of professionals, the support of the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Family Court of Western Australia, National Legal Aid, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, Family Relationship Services Australia, the law associations and bar associations in each state and territory, Women's Legal Services Australia and the Australian Psychological Society Family Law and Psychology Interest Group was also much appreciated.

We would like to thank Roy Morgan Research for their efforts in undertaking the data collection with parents for the Experiences With Services module of the Survey of Recently Separated Parents 2014, which formed part of this study.

We extend our gratitude to our colleagues at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) who provided comments on the data collection instruments and assisted with pilot testing of the surveys. In particular, we acknowledge the contributions of Dr Lixia Qu, Julie Deblaquiere and John De Maio who provided advice and assistance with the representation of aspects of the quantitative data in this report, and we also thank Dr Sarah Tayton and Briony Horsfall who kindly volunteered to read and offer critical comments on this report. We thank the IT and Web teams at AIFS for their assistance with programming and administering the online surveys, and the AIFS Publishing team, Lan Wang in particular, for editing this report.

We would also like to thank Professor Alan Hayes AM, Director of AIFS, and Dr Daryl Higgins, Deputy Director (Research), for their advice and support throughout the research.

Cover photo: © Rachata Sinthopachakul/


Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments
232 pp.