The state government's decision to remove fees for people accessing interim family violence orders via the court has the potential to change many lives.
In Tasmania, an interim family violence order from the courts costs $32.40 plus $15 for printing. In some other states there is no cost involved when seeking an interim family violence order.
Last month The Examiner launched the campaign Fighting Back to help remove barriers for victims of family violence.
The first barrier was this court fee. The removal of the fee is not going to be the answer to helping to reduce the prevalence of the family violence in our community.
When a campaign like this begins, The Examiner seeks feedback from key stakeholders to ensure the message and outcomes align with what they experience day to day.
The feedback about the fees was an unnecessary barrier was in place for those seeking to flee family violence.
The Examiner committed to advocating for the removal of the fees with the belief that if only one person had an improved outcome then it would be a success.
The Fighting Back campaign will not end now. The fight has only just begun. Now our efforts will turn to examining funding and access to support services that are at the coalface of family violence. These services are the difference from people, primarily women and children, becoming survivors rather than victims.
The campaign will also take a close look at the current legislation in relations to family violence crimes and assault, and whether the current law adequately protects victims and serves as a deterrence to perpetrators of family violence.
There are many barriers for those fleeing family violence, but one thing for certain is that there are many people wanting to make a difference. The very least we can do as a community is to ensure we support people in these situations and promote respectful relationships. This can be as simple as not laughing at a degrading joke.
Reducing family violence will take generational change, but we have to start somewhere.