The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act was enacted to provide people with due process and other legal protection from existing violent relationships. If you are constantly or even sometimes experiencing family and domestic violence, you can go to court and a domestic violence order may be issued in your favour. In addition, you can seek a temporary restraining order if the case is urgent and detrimental, and you can also acquire assistance from the police if you want to file violence charges against the aggressor.
In connection with the above-stated solutions, you can also avail of the domestic and family violence services under the Act to help you through the process and work out a strategy to end the relationship once and for all. Below we discuss family and domestic violence, domestic violence applications and the issues with children through this challenging and hard period.
What is Family and Domestic Violence?
Family and domestic violence includes the following acts, which are committed by an individual you have a relationship with:
- He or she dominates and controls you to the point that your wellbeing and safety are in danger
- He or she coerces you to do something beyond your will
- He or she threatens you
- He or she economically or financially abuses you
- He or she psychologically, emotionally, sexually, or physically abuses you
Examples of acts that constitute violence are as follow:
- Ordering you to engage in activities you don’t want to
- Acquiring the services of other people to damage your property or threaten, harass, intimidate, or injure you
- Inflicting self-harm to one’s self or threatening to commit suicide to frighten you
- Threatening to harm another individual if you do not abide by his or her rules
- Threatening to end the support he or she is providing
- Coercing you to deliver your social security payments and other money-generating programs
- Denying you the right to make connections or to contact your friends and family, including the right to exercise your spiritual and cultural practices
- Injuring you, such as twisting your arms, pulling your hair, slapping you, pushing you, grabbing your throat, strangling you, and punching you anywhere
Domestic Violence Order (DVO) & Domestic Violence Applications
The Domestic Violence Order is a protection order limiting the act of an individual who inflicts violence on others. It shall include the fact that the respondent (person inflicting violence) shall cease to inflict violence upon the aggrieved party and his or her children. It also includes terms and conditions, which prohibit the respondent from getting in touch or locating the aggrieved party; this includes the latter’s workplace and home.
Once the order has been issued, any breach to this effect will subject the offender to a criminal offence. In addition, the individuals named in the family and domestic violence order are prohibited from carrying or possessing firearms or other weapons.
Application for a Domestic and Family Violence Order
You must take essential items and documents with you whenever you leave the house and seek the court for domestic and family violence order. Take note that you should never put yourself in danger at any cost. Moreover, never argue over your belongings when you have already decided to leave the relationship.
Since it is a cardinal rule that no one deserves to be threatened or hurt, the Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act of 2012 seeks to protect anyone who is about to experience this kind of violence. If you happen to be on a visa and you experience family violence within the household, you can immediately avail of legal help.
If you are dealing with family violence or domestic violence and you want to apply for a court order, it is important that you support your claim with sufficient evidence. Also, you should clearly state the name of the respondent or the one who committed the violence or aggression against you.
Who can apply?
If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can immediately apply for a family and domestic violence order. The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act seeks to secure the safety and protection of individuals who are engaged in the following relationships:
- Family relationship
- Informal relationship with tender loving care (individuals who do not have biological or intimate relationships with others, but are dependent on them)
- Personal and intimate relationships such as those who are engaged, are just a couple, married, under a de facto marriage, and those whose relationships are registered under the law.
Are children included?
Any parent can seek the aid offered by the family or domestic violence order and include the names of their own children. It can never be denied that today, every child has the ability to inflict violence toward their parents because of the protection guaranteed by certain laws. You can even include the names of your stepchildren who visit you during school holidays or every weekend.
However, children can be the subject of a domestic violence court order only if the court itself is persuaded by the necessity for it and if it is in the interest of the child and the parent.
Domestic Violence Court Order application process
There are two kinds of domestic violence court orders: the urgent applications and the non-urgent ones. If you think that your life is unsafe and that you are at risk, you can seek an immediate temporary protection order against the aggressor. In this case, court proceedings will commence after your domestic violence application.
For non-urgent applications, you will have to submit an application and wait for your schedule in court. Whilst in court, the respondent or the person who inflicted the said violence will have to choose either to agree to the applied court order, oppose it, or ask for their day in court.
Family and domestic violence is one of the leading offences that is given higher priority. Although the police can help you through the process, it is best that you seek legal advice from professionals who specialise in these kind of cases. By this, you will be guided accordingly, and you will gain in-depth knowledge on how to protect yourself and exercise your rights against the aggressor.
If you have any questions relating to Domestic Violence Applications or Family Law, please contact our team today.