Family Law – Dowry Violence in Australia
Domestic violence can take many forms, as those who have suffered it know. Sometimes it is physical, sometimes mental, sometimes verbal. It is invariably and unfortunately used by some as a tool in family law litigation as a means of (or an attempt to) strengthen their grip over the weaker party. It is never okay.
But many Australians do not realise that domestic violence can take other forms for ethnic Australians in marriages arranged in their country of origin when a dowry has been involved. In such cases, the wife and her family may be subjected to various forms of abuse, threats or violence should she wish to leave the marriage in Australia in accordance with Australian law.
The Senate is currently seeking public submissions for an inquiry to be held into this practice. It is intended that the inquiry examine the “devastating impacts” of the cultural practice, which traditionally involves an exchange of parental property, gifts or money at the marriage of a daughter.