28 Feb 2013

Fears court changes may increase domestic violence

8:32 pm on 28 February 2013

MPs have been told a plan to remove access to free family counselling under proposed changes to the Family Court could see an increase in domestic violence.

Parliament's Justice and Electoral committee is considering legislation aimed at focusing the court's resources on resolving disputes that need to be heard by a judge.

The National Network of Stopping Violence Services told the committee on Thursday the plan to remove free counselling for families is extremely concerning.

It says families have to resolve their conflicts, whether splitting up or trying to stay together, and the current Family Court counselling offered can be very effective.