On 4 June 2020, the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs adopted an inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence. The inquiry was referred by the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston.Through this inquiry the Committee will seek to inform the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
An earlier Senate inquiry, which followed the murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children, attracted criticism after wrapping up without any recommendations or input from victims and survivors or those working in the sector. This new Commonweath inquiry has been described as an opportunity to explore at systemic level the voices of women and children with lived experience. The Terms of Reference include the impact of of COVID-19 on the prevalence of family violence and the provision of support.