On 1 July 2006 the Australian Family Law Act 1975 underwent major reforms with the introduction of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006. The reforms have serious implications for adult and child victims of family violence. Among the safeguards for victims accompanying the changes to the Act is the introduction of family violence screening and risk assessment processes, designed to identify victims, to consider future risk of harm (e.g. for re-assault or homicide) and to manage and respond to that risk. This paper examines the strengths, weaknesses and good practices of family violence screening and risk assessment approaches, drawing on an exploration of their more traditional applications in health and criminal justice settings. Consideration is given to how these approaches might be employed at multiple points in family law proceedings.
Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse 2007