WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence (‘DV’) is abusive, violent or intimidating behaviour occurring in a relationship. DV can sometimes be referred to as family violence. The relationship can be a partner, carer or another family member. The violence does not need to occur within your home to be DV. It occurs when someone in a relationship with you has power or control over you.
There are many types of domestic violence, including but not limited to; physical, emotional, economic, social, spiritual and harassment.
- Physical abuse – where someone is physically hurting you or is threatening to physically hurt you. Can also include sexual abuse and/or the threat of sexual abuse.
- Emotional abuse – making you feel worthless in order to maintain power and control over you. Can include; verbal insults, intimidation, isolation, bullying and making you dependent on them.
- Economic abuse – where someone has control over your finances or if they keep you financially reliant or dependent on them.
- Social abuse – insolating you from your support network of family or friends or controlling what you do, where you go and who you spend time with. Can also include insulting, embarrassing and/or humiliating you in front of other people.
- Spiritual abuse – preventing you to express you own opinions or ideas with respect to religion, culture and personal values.
- Harassment or stalking – repeated following, watching, calling, online stalking and/or intimidation by another person.
How can I get help if I am experiencing Domestic Violence?
If you or someone you know is experiencing Domestic Violence (‘DV’) it is important to seek help.
You can do this by filing for a Domestic Violence Order (‘DVO’) in your local Magistrates Court. This will make the abusive person commit to being of good behvaiour towards you and stop them committing any further DV to you. You can apply for certain provisions if you feel unsafe, such as preventing the violent person from coming to your house or workplace. You can include your children if applicable to ensure that their safety needs are also met.
How do I file for a Domestic Violence Order?
You can ask the police to file for a Domestic Violence Order (‘DVO’), or you can apply with the help of a lawyer or by yourself. As the DVO is a legal document it is a good idea to get legal advice to make sure the DVO correctly protects you and your individual safety needs.
There are two types of DVOs; a protection order and a temporary protection order. A protection order is made in Court by a Magistrate to protect against DV. Most protection orders last for five years but can be shorter or longer if the Court feels it is appropriate. A temporary protection order is used if protection is needed urgently due to the immediate threat of danger. These orders can be made to protect the person in the time leading up before their full protection order is made.
A court making a DVO against someone is not by itself a criminal charge, however, if the abusive person breaches the order they can be charged with a criminal offence.
Speak To An Accredited Family Lawyer
Our family lawyers here at Stone Group Lawyers can help explain which of the orders is more appropriate for your situation and what consequences a breach of the DVO can have for the other party. It is important to understand your safety needs and ensure that the orders are drafted correctly to protect you. Call our office now for a free 30 minute consultation on 07 5635 0180.