Bravehearts wants royal commission for ‘flawed’ Family Law system

“I am broken, I was only a girl, hiding under my sheets, you took away all my innocence, left me dead inside.”

These disturbing words were written by a victim of child abuse, who paid the ultimate price for what Bravehearts has labeled a “the most dangerous institution for children in this country”.

The Gold Coast-based child abuse advocate has released a new report following a two-year investigation into the Family Law system.


Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston told myGC, it is failing children.

“Kids are dying. They are being traumatised, raped in their own beds every day because this system doesn’t work,” Ms Johnston said.

“It’s unacceptable and I can’t imagine how any adult could sleep at night knowing this is happening. Know that it’s preventable and look the other way.

“I hope our politicians feel the same way and that we just get (Australia) safe for our kids.”

The investigation, which was privately funded, asked for people to come forward with stories of how the system had let them down.

320 people responded, before the list was narrowed down to 15 cases; all where child protection bodies, police and the court had in some way left children in the path of harm.

“They are indicative of what is happening constantly, routinely within the Family Law system,” Ms Johnston explains.

“This is an absolute abomination. This is not in a third-world country somewhere.

“This is in Australia.

“And it preventable. The fact we do nothing about it is unforgivable.”

“So our call to politicians everywhere is to hold a federal royal commission into the Family Law system – inclusive of the courts, police, child protection and how that whole system is failing to work together in the best interest of children.

“Collectively it’s not working.”

Abbey’s Project is named in honour of the teenager who penned the poem detailing her pain and feeling of isolation.

After her parents divorced, Abbey’s father was still allowed to have shared custody despite being a convicted child sex offender.

You can go to the Bravehearts website to read more about Abbey, who sadly took her own life at the tender age of 17, as well as Abbey’s Project.

Parents of young children are also encouraged to check out the education section for the best preventative measures.

Warning: content on the site may be confronting.