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Listen to Family Violence: Ending the Hidden Crime at Pursuit (transcript available)

Cheryl Critchley
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The nuclear family is “unhealthy”, and our traditional societal structures enable family violence, says Germaine Greer in the latest episode of the University of Melbourne’s The Policy Shop podcast. 

The episode, which is hosted by Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis and also features Mary Polis, former Chief Executive Officer of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence and Joanna Fletcher, CEO of Women's Legal Service Victoria, explores the causes of, and possible solutions to, family violence.

Family violence is a universal problem, which has been hidden within the domestic space for too long, the panel agreed, with Greer arguing against the nuclear family altogether.

“It's too small, and you've got too much confrontation. You've got one generation against another generation, you've got man against woman, you've got child against parent. They're in a perpetual state of conflict,” she says.

 Potential solutions are discussed, ranging from working with boys to support attitudinal change, to new ways of managing the family court system. One proposal from Polis is that restorative justice is used in family violence cases – a model commonly used in youth offending.

“Women who have gone through the court system very rarely get the outcomes that are right for them. I think we owe it to the victims of violence to have somebody understand the impact on them, and for some form of accountability that's meaningful to be put in place,” she says.

Germaine Greer was in Melbourne to meet the archivists who have been cataloguing and processing the Greer Archive, a world class collection here at the University of Melbourne.

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