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AASW’s Policy Position on Family Violence

The AASW takes the view that family violence is a gendered crime and predominately perpetrated by men against women. Although acknowledging other forms of violence, the predominant societal issue is one of violence against women, which is rooted in the unequal place of women in society. Our work to highlight and address all forms of family violence is based on the three values underpinning our Code of Ethics: Respect for Persons, Social Justice and Professional Integrity. It is aligned with the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. In this policy area, we have advocated for changes to the Family Law System, privacy provisions in My Health Record, and maintained awareness of the wider systemic links between mental health, homelessness and family violence.

The AASW wishes to acknowledge the effects of family violence on children. Every child whose mother is abused is affected in some way and if nothing is done with young children, then these can become the next generation of perpetrators (AASW Policy and Advocacy, 2015).

Position Statements



May 2015

Position Statement: Violence against Women

July 2011

Domestic and Family Violence Position Paper

Policy Submissions



July 2020 Covid 19 Inquiry Submission
July 2020 Submission to the Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence

December 2019

Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System

November 2018

Submission to Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Bill 2018)

November 2018

Australian Law Reform Commission Review of the Family Law System

September 2018

Submission to Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018

January 2017

Submission to the Attorney-General's Department Re: Amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to Respond to Family Violence

May 2017

Submission to Parliamentary inquiry into a better family law system to support and protect those affected by family violence

June 2016

Submission to the Commissioner for Children – Tasmania Re: Family and Domestic Violence – Its Impact upon Children and Young People in Tasmania

May 2015

Submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria

May 2015

Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission Roundtable on Children affected by Family and Domestic Violence

Media Releases



21 May, 2020

Domestic Violence Inquiry report a missed opportunity: published without receiving a single submission

19 May, 2020

National Families Week: AASW calls on increased focus on family violence during COVID-19, and for a separate Medicare item

6 March 2020

Poverty, family violence, all a result of gender inequality, says AASW ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March

14 January, 2020 The invisible impact of the bushfires: mental health, trauma and family violence

19 December, 2019

Current family law system does not adequately protect women and children from violence, say Australian social workers

25 November, 2019

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: AASW stands with Generation Equality against rape

15 May, 2019

National Families Week 2019: The AASW renews its call for urgent action to address family violence

21 November, 2018

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: 25 November #HearMeToo

24 November, 2017

AASW: Violence against women is one of our most pervasive and preventable human rights violations

24 July, 2017

AASW to present evidence of much-needed family law reforms

17 March, 2017

Rosie Batty to join Victorian social workers at AASW’s World Social Work Day celebrations

24 November, 2016

Court system further compounding family violence trauma: AASW

16 June, 2016

Reducing homelessness and its links to family violence a national priority

28 April, 2016

Victorian Budget a landmark investment in addressing family violence

18 April, 2016

Family Court no place to be without legal assistance when family violence is present

30 March, 2016

Family violence Royal Commission recommendations a step in the right direction

25 November, 2015

Ending violence against women requires structural, attitudinal change

24 September, 2015

AASW welcomes Women's Safety Package

27 August, 2015

Taking down the walls: Domestic violence seminar for Tasmanian social workers

13 August, 2015

AASW applauds government's new family violence strategy

3 August, 2015

AASW welcomes Royal Commission into Family Violence

27 January, 2015

Australian of the Year award puts family violence on the agenda

20 November, 2014

Addressing gender inequality key to ending violence against women

Other relevant documents



August 2019

Scope of Social Work Practice: Family Violence

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers