Domestic violence is a problem that usually goes on behind closed doors and out of the public eye.
Domestic violence includes abuse between:
- People who are married or in a de facto relationship;
- Couples who are the same or opposite sex;
- Couples who are now separated or divorced;
- The birth parents of a child (including an unborn child), whether or not they have ever lived together;
- Relatives by blood or marriage (this does not include persons under the age of 18 years);
- Persons in an intimate personal relationship; or
- Persons in an informal care relationship where one person is dependent on another who helps them with an activity of their daily living
It is important to remember that domestic violence is a crime and can include the following acts, namely:
- Physical and verbal abuse;
- Psychological abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Social abuse (i.e. keeping a person away from family and friends, or preventing a person from earning their own money);
- Financial abuse (i.e. withholding or controlling money in the relationship);
- Deliberately damaging a person’s property; or
- Threatening to injure a person or damage their property.
Domestic violence affects all people regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds. It can affect people of all ages, levels of education and income. If you believe you are a victim of domestic violence it is important to work out a safety plan. It is a good idea to find a safe place to go to, make a list of emergency numbers, and save money for transport or accommodation if necessary. If help and support is unavailable to you, we urge you to go to http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/ to locate a support agency near you.
Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVO)
Alternatively, a person who is a victim of domestic violence can apply to the Court to obtain a Domestic Violence Protection Order. The victim will need to show to the Court that one of the abovementioned types of violence has occurred and is likely to occur again. By way of a Domestic Violence Protection Order the Court may order that the perpetrator stop committing the acts, not be in possession of any firearms or be licensed to carry firearms, not to come near certain places such as the residence of the victim, and not damage the property of the victim.
The Protection Order may include others involved such as the children of the relationship, grandparents, relatives or friends. A Protection Order usually lasts up to 2 years and penalties for breaching the Order include a fine up to $3,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment.
It is important that you immediately dial “000” if you are in danger or require police assistance.
We’re here to help
A Domestic Violence Protection Order case is heard within the Magistrates Court. Should you require assistance in this matter, Wiltshire Family Lawyers are available to guide you through the steps. With the help of our qualified solicitors you will feel safer and more in control of your own life.