Women's Experiences of the Processes Associated with the Family Court of Australia in the Context of Domestic Violence: A Thematic Analysis

Donna Roberts, Peter CHAMBERLAIN, Paul Delfabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Domestic violence is a pervasive, significant social and public health issue that often has physical, emotional, social, legal, economic and political ramifications. The present qualitative study sought to address the paucity of knowledge in the domestic violence literature by identifying the psychological impact of the Family Court process on women who have left abusive relationships. A thematic analysis was conducted on the narratives of 15 women who had left abusive relationships and who had, or were currently, engaged with the Family Court. The results revealed that the experience of engaging with the court process caused considerable distress for the women. Principal themes related to fear of the ex-partner and having to confront him at hearings, constantly reliving the relationship via affidavits, and the insensitivity of some legal professionals to the difficulties experienced by women confronted with these experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue numberonline
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Cite this