Posted on 21 May 2015
Lawyers have called for immediate action to implement education programs in schools to break the cycle of domestic and family violence.
Slater and Gordon family lawyer Mona Emera said with two women dying a week, the time for discussion was over.
“We must act now and we must act comprehensively to turn those rates around,” she said.
“National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell has called for education programs in schools and we would fully support a national response to that.
“As is so often the case with major societal change, education is key.”
Ms Emera said family violence was insidious and no section of society was immune.
“Frankly, the rates of domestic and family violence in our society are alarming,” she said.
“As Ms Mitchell rightly points out, teaching children from a young age about what a healthy relationship looks like is imperative, as is ensuring children have a safe environment to report it and access support if they need it,” she said.
Ms Emera said as a family lawyer she regularly sees the absolute devastation caused by family violence.
“Family Law courts have long recognised the impact of domestic and family violence on children and the primary concern of the courts is always the need to protect children from harm and exposure to family violence.
“However, where we as adults and as a society often fail, is breaking the cycle.
“Now is the time, in Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, we as adults sent a strong and united message to our children that domestic and family violence is never acceptable.
“Not now. Not ever,” she said.
Education in schools was also a key recommendation of the Not Now, Not Ever report produced by the Queensland Government Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence chaired by Dame Quentin Bryce.