The Relevance of Violence in Family Law Decision Making
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
August, 21 2008
Australian Journal of Family Law, Vol. 9, pp. 58-69, 1995
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/98
Of all the areas of law, family law is the one in which violence, while it may not be the issue in question in a particular case, is nonetheless often central to the context of a dispute. This is not surprising in view of the fact that most violence against women is perpetrated by men known to them, in particular by men with whom they are or have been in intimate relationships. Yet despite its prevalence, violence in the home has historically been rendered invisible in family law decision making. This discussion explores how violence might be made more visible in family law decision making and considers ways in which decision making structures might better respond to violence where it is a clear part of the context of a dispute. While violence had increasingly come to be seen as highly relevant to the welfare of children, less attention had been paid to its relevance in property proceedings. The author argues that the widespread and pervasive nature of violence against women must be recognised, as opposed to conceptualising 'family violence' in an isolated gender-neutral fashion.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: family law decision-making, domestic violence, gender, gendered harm, family violence, property proceedings, child custody, law reform
JEL Classification: K10, K11, K30, K40
Date posted: August 21, 2008
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