Hanson aks why domestic violence perps can't see kids
SENATOR Pauline Hanson has asked why a parent who has had a domestic violence order taken out against them should be denied from seeing their children.
Senator Hanson who is deputy chair of the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System, was questioning Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland president James Steel during a public hearing held in Townsville yesterday.
"If a domestic violence order is made from one parent … is taken over one parent, and it's not against the children, why should that parent be denied access to see the children?" Senator Hanson asked.
"You have a married couple or couple living in a de facto relationship and have children, no domestic violence orders against either partner, but after separation in a matter of days and weeks, a domestic violence order that's brought out against the other partner … why would this be happening?"
Fellow One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts asked what consequences there were for parents who lied about being victims of domestic violence, and whether they should have to prove the alleged abuse.
"What about if the parent who is alleging the violence is lying? What repercussions then, because at the moment as I understand it, the person can lie in the family law system and be treated with impunity, get away with it," Senator Roberts said.
"So there's an incentive to actually lie, to put forward their case to deny access. How do we make sure accountability comes on the person making accusations. "Should the onus of proof be on the party who makes the allegation to deny such access to the child? The proof that there is domestic violence involved."
In response, Mr Steel said if a person was found to have misled the court, they would have their conduct and attitude towards parenting considered.
Dispute Management Australia owner and mediator Tania Murdock said a small percentage of people "mocked" and took "advantage" of the system by using domestic violence to bypass mediation.
"Children need both parents, provided they're safe, they're not being neglected, provided there's not significant domestic violence," she said.
"Domestic violence is on a spectrum, there's severe and then there's not so severe."
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.