Why Victoria Needs a Specialised Court to tackle Domestic Violence Family Court

I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to 12 years of Physical & emotional trauma.

I attended Family Court in Melbourne yesterday only to sit in the courtroom and wait for my case to be heard at about 3.00pm.

While waiting I hear other cases. One woman, with no legal representation, up against the Department of Human Services lawyer, and Barrister, an Independent Childrens Lawyer and Barrister. She had no one with her and no support.

Her children had been taken into care because her ex boyfriend was taking ice. The mother has moved, no longer associated with the ex, and is trying to get her children home.

She has never had a drug or alcohol problem, but in order to get one sleepover a week with her kids, she has to do random drug and alcohol screening, and a psychiatrist report. She has never been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The there was the case of a muslim women who has not seen her children for seven years. Her ex husband took them to Lebanon seven years ago, and stayed there for two years, and his parents in Lebanon now have custody.

This womans only choice was to allow the ex husband to have his passport back, and him taken off the Federal Airport watch list so that he could return to Lebanon to collect children and apparently bring them back.

The mother was giving him the money for the childrens tickets. She was not allowed to go with him, at his request. The kids don’t have Australian passports……I dont think he’s coming back with those kids…

So after three more other domestic violence related cases, I was in tears. My PTSD had kicked in, and I was a bumbling mess.

I had only been before this Judge once, and she called me a Frequent Flyer in the family Court System! I informed her that I had been only once before her, she informed me that “Judges Talk”. She made jokes about my domestic violence, and inferred I am a liar.

I was there to report an urgent assault on my son (the forth in 2 years) by the father. The judge told me she would not entertain the thought. Even though under Section 67ZD of the Family Law Act 1975 this can be addressed once the court is made aware. I provided a letter from Human Services, she told me she didnt care. That if it was so important Human Services would attend court.

I left the court immediately.

We need a specialised court in Victoria that understands Domestic Violnce, and Court Support so that Domestic Violence suffers are not reabused by the system.