Go to top of page

Family violence and partner visas

Tonight is White Ribbon Night, which is a new initiative to help stop men’s violence against women. People are encouraged to have a ‘night in’ to draw attention to the fact that not everyone feels safe in their own home. According to White Ribbon Australia, at least one woman is killed every week by a former or current partner and one in four young Australians have witnessed violence against their mothers.

Migrant women’s experience of family violence can be exacerbated by language barriers, a lack of knowledge and awareness of the law and available services, cultural and religious barriers to seeking help, and fear of police, government agencies or of being ostracised by their community. For migrants on a temporary partner visa, the threat of being forced to leave Australia if they leave their partner adds another layer of pressure.

Australians do not want anyone staying in an abusive relationship in order to stay in the country and there are family violence provisions for people on temporary partner visas to prevent this from happening. In late 2012, we took steps to streamline the evidence that people claiming family violence need to provide the department.

As part of the changes, the type of evidence able to be provided was simplified and expanded. The list of acceptable evidence now includes letters, reports, statutory declarations and statements from certain professionals that victims of family violence may already have, for example hospital or doctors’ records and police reports.

At the same time we updated our public information and made the policy guidance more flexible. The changes formed part of our response to the Australian Law Reform Commission report, Family violence and Commonwealth laws: Improving Legal Frameworks and consultation with more than 60 diverse stakeholders, including women’s refuges and migrant women’s groups.

One consistent message from our stakeholders was to provide information in community languages. As a result, we translated information on the family violence provisions into 30 languages and these are available on our website.

Comments (2)


Well, family violence as well as men’s violence against women in Australia has rises a lot currently and highlighted on news now days. However, govt is taking strong steps to handle the situation but still it has forced people to think who are willing to migrate to Australia


Forget forced adoptions, forget the stolen generation, forget the imprisonment of children in camps , A far worst tragic abuse by default is transpiring this day to fathers and children because of the family law act inter-alia. Any form of violence is unacceptable and that includes veiled threats at a constant psychological level of using the costs involved and probable unfair outcomes as an act as a vehicle to solicit and or garnish compliance by the partner. The real question should be how many murder suicides does it take before the government says this is unacceptable, this is enough and reform the laws that inflame matters. Fathers I implore you , no matter what happens to you or your children DO NOT retaliate with violence in any way put your energy's into reforming the law peacefully.