DOWRY ABUSE SENATE INQUIRY HEARS FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE

SENATOR LOUISE PRATT.
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1 year ago
DOWRY ABUSE SENATE INQUIRY HEARS FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE
SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
The Senate Inquiry into the practice and incidence of dowry abuse in Australia held its latest public hearing in Sydney on Friday, where advocacy organisations detailed instances and trends of dowry related abuse.
Dowry extortion has been recognised as a direct cause of family violence including horrific murders and suicides.

To date the inquiry has received more than 80 submissions from across Australia that show the extent of concern and point the way to changes that may be needed in family law, criminal law, migration systems and policing responses.

This Senate Inquiry has received many submissions highlighting the need for stronger national laws that replicate Victoria’s approach and include dowry related abuse as a specified form of abuse in the Family Law Act.
 
Victoria has led the way, with new laws that define dowry abuse as a form of family violence, implementing the recommendation of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
 
Organisations and individuals that appeared include Harmony Alliance, White Ribbon Foundation, Indian community organisations and Jatinder Kaur, Director of JK Diversity Consultants and who also runs a refuge for women fleeing dowry violence in Brisbane.

“(T)he  recent spike in financial, physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women in the name of dowry has led to several deaths, suicide attempts, and other forms of domestic violence.
Jatinder Kaur, JK Diversity Consultants (17/08/2018)

Including dowry abuse as an example of family violence in Section 4 (1) of the Family Law Act would help to set norms and expectations.
Harmony Alliance (17/08/2018)

Dowry or ‘bride price’ perpetuates a culture of ownership of women, which runs against the cause of equality, a fundamental value in modern Australia.

The terrible impact dowry abuse and family violence have on women and families needs to be stopped. It is crucial the government does everything it can to help vulnerable women and families suffering because of dowry abuse.

Labor looks forward to the outcomes of this important inquiry.
 
Labor Party