What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence occurs when two people are in a relationship and one commits any of the following acts in relation to the other:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Economic abuse
- Threatening or coercive behaviour
- Behaviour which controls or dominates the other party or causes them to fear for their safety or wellbeing
What relationships are covered by the Domestic Violence Laws?
In additional to conventional marriages, relationships covered by domestic violence laws include:
- De facto relationships
- Former spouses
- Persons who are engaged to be married
- Persons who are deemed to be a couple
- Family relationships – persons usually related by blood or marriage
- An informal care relationship – where one party relies on the other party to assist them with daily living activities
What do I do if I am in a Domestic Violence situation?
If you are in a relationship which is covered by the domestic violence laws and another party to that relationship commits an act of domestic violence towards you, then you may wish to apply to the Magistrates Court for a Protection Order (Domestic Violence Order). The application will be heard by the Magistrates Court and if granted, a DVO will be made.
For a DVO to be made, it must be shown that:-
- A relevant relationship exists;
- An act or acts of Domestic Violence has/have occurred; and
- It is necessary and desirable to make an order.
A DVO usually imposes a standard condition requiring the other party to be of good behaviour toward you and not commit any further acts of domestic violence. You may also request further conditions be imposed to prevent the other party from contacting or approaching you or your family members or associates. The granting of a DVO will also require the other party to surrender all firearms in their possession. A DVO may be made for a period of up to 5 years
If you are with an application for a DVO and you do not believe the Order should be granted, then you will need to appear at the hearing to oppose the application.
How can Hede Byrne & Hall help?
We understand that the issue of domestic violence is highly personal and emotive. It is an extremely challenging and emotionally draining process and obtaining expert assistance is crucial to ensure that you achieve the best outcome in your case without some assistance.
If you wish to apply for a DVO or if you wish to defend an application to which you are the respondent, please do not hesitate to contact our helpful and experienced team of professionals for assistance as soon as possible.