First public hearings for family violence inquiry

The House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs

is commencing public hearings for its inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence, with the first two hearings to take place on 7 and 8 September.

On Monday 7 September, the Committee will hear from government agencies, research institutes and other organisations about the experience of family violence in the Australian community and the policies and programs in place to respond to it and reduce its prevalence.

On Tuesday 8 September, the Committee will further discuss these issues with various bodies including legal sector and service provider organisations, as well as focusing on technology-facilitated abuse with the eSafety Commissioner.

Chair of the Committee, Mr Andrew Wallace MP, said: ‘These hearings are an opportunity for the Committee to hear about the current evidence base on the problem of family and domestic violence in Australia, and the actions being taken by governments and community organisations to prevent and respond to it.

‘We want to investigate what is working well, and where there could be improvements, both to reduce violence against women and their children and to allow them to escape violence.

‘In addition, though the significant majority of Australians experiencing domestic violence are women and children, the Committee understands that there are also men who live with this kind of abuse, and we are conscious of the need to inquire into its damaging impacts irrespective of the sex of the perpetrator or the victim.’

‘The Committee is also keen to hear about the impact the COVID-19 situation has had on those experiencing family violence, and on family violence service providers.’

Mr Wallace added that: ‘The Committee will use evidence from these and future hearings in formulating its report and recommendations, which will seek to inform the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.’

These hearings are the first of several expected to be held for the inquiry between now and November 2020.

In order to ensure public safety during the COVID-19 situation, Committee members and witnesses will participate in the hearing remotely, via videoconference and teleconference. Interested members of the public are invited to watch the live broadcast, available at aph.gov.au/live.

Further information, including hearing programs and submissions to the inquiry, is available on the Committee’s website.

Public hearing details

Date: Monday, 7 September 2020

Time: 8.45am to 4.00pm

Location: Via videoconference

Date: Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Time: 8.45am to 4.00pm

Location: Via videoconference

View the public hearing programs here.

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