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Child Safety in Australian Family Law: Responsibilities and Challenges for Social Science Experts in Domestic Violence Cases

Authors


Amanda Shea Hart, 2 Mary Street, Unley South Australia, Australia 5061. Email: amanda.shea.hart@iinet.net.au

Abstract

Understanding the potentially adverse effects of exposure to domestic violence on children is increasing in the Western world. However, in Australian family law, there remain challenges in centralising the special needs of these children in cases before the family courts in the determination of their best interests. This article draws on some key findings of a small qualitative study to highlight and discuss some of the barriers that need to be overcome in order for social science experts to enhance the courts' capacity to protect child subjects of proceedings from possible future harm.

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