Domestic & Family Violence
Our dedicated family law team has a depth of experience in matters concerning family and domestic violence. We are ready to provide you with legal information, advice and assistance specific to your circumstances.
Whether you are applying for a Family Violence Order, responding to a Family Violence Order, or are named as the aggrieved family member on an Application for a Family Violence Order made by the Police on your behalf, we can help you.
Call us on (07) 5532 3199.
What is Family & Domestic Violence?
Family violence is a serious social issue that affects everyone in a family – children, parents and other members of the extended family.
Family violence can take many forms: it can be physical, emotional, psychological or sexual.
What Constitutes Family or Domestic Violence?
Common forms of violence in families can include (but are not limited to):
- spouse/partner abuse (violence among adult partners and ex-partners)
- child abuse/neglect (abuse/neglect of children by an adult)
- parental abuse (violence perpetrated by a child against their parent), and
- sibling abuse (violence between siblings).
Affects of Family Violence
Studies show the impact of living with family violence can cause short or long term physical and emotional trauma to children, young people and adults. Not only does family violence, or the threat of family violence, affect a person’s safety, create fear and disrupt family units, it can also affect a person’s:
- readiness to take action in a family law matter
- willingness to come to the Courts
- ability to participate in court events, and/or
- ability to achieve settlement of their dispute through negotiation.
Family Violence & The Law
Family Violence is described in section 4AB of the Family Law Act (1975) to mean violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful.
The Family Law Act provides examples of behaviour that may constitute family violence including (but not limited to):
a) an assault; or
b) a sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour; or
c) stalking; or
d) repeated derogatory taunts; or
e) intentionally damaging or destroying property; or
f) intentionally causing death or injury to an animal; or
g) unreasonably denying the family member the financial autonomy that he or she would otherwise have had; or
h) unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses of the family member, or his or her child, at a time when the family member is entirely or predominantly dependent on the person for financial support; or
i) preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture; or
j) unlawfully depriving the family member, or any member of the family member’s family, of his or her liberty.
Further, the Family Law Act provides that a child is exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence.
For example, in circumstances where the child:
- overhears threats of death or personal injury by a member of the child’s family towards another member of the child’s family; or
- sees or hears an assault of a member of the child’s family by another member of the child’s family; or
- comforts or provides assistance to a member of the child’s family who has been assaulted by another member of the child’s family; or
- cleans up a site after a member of the child’s family has intentionally damaged property of another member of the child’s family; or
- is present when police or ambulance officers attend an incident involving the assault of a member of the child’s family by another member of the child’s family.
Family Violence Orders
A family violence order (including an interim order) is generally made under a prescribed law of a state or territory to protect a person from family violence.
Family violence orders are called different things in different states, for example:
- Australian Capital Territory: Family Violence Order
- New South Wales: Apprehended Domestic Violence Order
- Northern Territory: Domestic Violence Orders
- Queensland: Protection Orders
- South Australia: Intervention Orders
- Tasmania: Family Violence Orders
- Victoria: Intervention Orders
- Western Australia: Violence Restraining Orders
Although the names of family violence orders differ in each state and territory, the processes in each state are similar and family violence orders made in any state and territory can be registered for enforcement in any other state or territory if needed.
Domestic and Family Violence Helplines
In an emergency call the police on Triple Zero (000).
There are also a number of organisations and helplines that can provide you with advice, refuge and counselling.
1800 811 811
DVConnect Womensline is a statewide telephone service offering free professional and non-judgemental telephone support to women who are experiencing domestic or family violence. They can help women to obtain safe refuge accommodation, confidential counselling and referral to other services. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
1800 600 636
DVConnect Mensline is a statewide telephone service offering free confidential counselling, referral and support to men affected by domestic and family violence. (9am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week)
1800 737 732
1800RESPECT is a national service providing confidential information, counselling and support to people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Sexual Assault Helpline
1800 010 120
The Sexual Assault Helpline provides telephone support and counselling to anyone who has been sexually assaulted or abused, and for anyone who is concerned or suspects someone they care about might have been assaulted or abused. (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days a week)
1800 551 800
Kids Helpline is a national, free, private and confidential phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
13 11 14
Lifeline provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to crisis support and suicide prevention services. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
For Family Law related matters, ABKJ Lawyers has the experience and expertise to assist you through.
Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.