What is Domestic Violence?
There has been a significant rise in the incidence of Domestic Violence that occurs in our society. A common belief is that Domestic Violence is simply a physical act of violence, when in fact it encompasses a broad range of conduct. For example, an act of Domestic Violence can be financial abuse by restricting access to a bank account, use of foul language, or even unauthorised surveillance.
Domestic Violence is defined as, and includes the following behaviours:
- is physically or sexually abusive;
- is emotionally or psychologically abusive;
- is economically abusive;
- is threatening;
- is coercive;
- in any other way controls or dominates and causes the person to fear for the person’s safety or wellbeing, or that of someone else.
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, there are avenues of legal recourse available to you to assist with, you and your children’s safety. The most common avenue is to apply to the Magistrates Court for a Domestic Violence Order.
WHAT IS A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER (DVO)?
A Domestic Violence Order ("DVO") is a civil matter that is heard in Magistrates Courts, whereby Applicants may seek Court Orders enforcing conditions about how a person can deal with another person. A DVO may last for a period of no longer than 2 years. It is important to note that a Domestic Violence Order is not a criminal order and does not appear on your criminal history. The matter may only become a criminal offence, if the person the order is made against, breaches a condition of the DVO. This may then appear on your criminal history.
A common DVO includes an order that a person is to be of good behaviour and not commit an act of domestic violence. However, depending upon the complexity of the situation, there are further and specific orders a DVO can impose, which may include the following:
- not to come within a certain distance from a person, their residence or their work;
- not to approach a person, their house or their work or place they frequent;
- not to contact a person;
- not to contact a person except for the purposes of having contact with a child; and
- not to contact or approach a named person on the Order (extra people you list for protection).
WHAT CAN WE DO?
At Forge Legal, the safety of your children and yourself is paramount, and our skilled and experienced team can help you navigate even the most complex of domestic violence cases, including situations such as:
- Applications for Urgent Temporary Domestic Violence Orders (DVO);
- Domestic Violence Order Applications;
- Defending Domestic Violence Order;
- Varying Domestic Violence Orders; and
- Peace and Good Behaviour Orders.