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Webinar recording | Using dispute resolution processes in matters where there is a history of domestic and family violence

31 December 2019

Venue: Online

Members: $35.00 AUD

Non-members: $55.00 AUD

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Using dispute resolution processes in matters where there is a history of domestic and family violence

The dynamics resulting from a history of family violence can severely compromise the safety and efficacy of outcomes reached through Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).

Of Australian women who experience family and domestic violence, more than half have children in their care.1 NZ Police recorded a family violence investigation on average every five and a half minutes in 2014.2 76% of family violence incidents are NOT reported to Police.3

Prof Rachael Field presents findings from the Coordinated Family Dispute Resolution (family mediation) process piloted in Australia between 2010 and 2012. Dr Field discusses the use of dispute resolution methods in contexts where there is a history of family violence, in both Australia and New Zealand, comparing and contrasting the application of a specialised model of facilitative mediation with restorative justice models of conferencing.

Australian research estimates the combined health, administration and social welfare costs of violence against women to be $A21.7 billion a year, with projections suggesting that if no further action is taken to prevent violence against women, costs will accumulate to $323.4 billion over a 30 year period from 2014-15 to 2044-45.4 In New Zealand, family violence is estimated to cost the country between $4.1 and $7 billion each year.5

The webinar highlight the skills that DR and FDR practitioners already have in their professional toolbox, and identify important skills that can be developed through ongoing professional development, or harnessed through interdisciplinary approaches.

The webinar concludes with the argument that internationally, governments around the world have a responsibility to invest resources in the safe practice of DR and FDR in contexts of family violence.

Purchase the recording and gain valuable CPD points.


1. National Crime Prevention (2001) Young people and domestic violence: National research on young people’s attitudes and experiences of domestic violence, Crime Prevention Branch, Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra; and Cox (2015), Violence against women: Additional analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey 2012

2. Statistics New Zealand. (2015). New Zealand Police recorded crime and apprehension tables. Retrieved 9 April 2015 from

3. New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey: 2014 (2015). Retrieved from

4. Price Waterhouse Coopers (2015) ‘A high price to pay: the economic case for preventing violence against women’, report prepared for Our Watch and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth).

5. Ministry of Justice (2015). 2014 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey (NZCASS): Main findings report.

Presenter: Prof Rachael Field

Dr Rachael Field is a Professor of Law in the Bond Law School. Her areas of research expertise include dispute resolution, family law and domestic violence and legal education.

Resolution Institute member Rachael is the founder of the Australian Wellness Network for Law, and a co-founder of the Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network. She has a portfolio of more than 75 scholarly publications, and is co-author of four books.

Rachael has volunteered on the management committee of Women’s Legal Service, Brisbane since 1993, and has been president of the Service since 2004. In 2013 Rachael was named Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year.