Domestic & Family Violence

Family Law

Helping protect you and your family against domestic and family violence

It is important to understand that the definition of domestic and family violence is very wide and conduct which you may not consider to be domestically violent, could give rise to an Application for Protection Order or Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).

We are here to support you in your time of need. Our dedicated family law team are experienced in providing quick and attentive support to help you complete and submit an Application for Protection Order (QLD) or Apprehended Violence Order (NSW).

For anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence and are in immediate danger, you must contact your local police as soon as possible for your own safety and the safety of any children involved. The police can take immediate action to protect you from any further violence.

They will remove the offending party from the family home and prohibit them from returning. If deemed appropriate, the police will file an Application for Protection (QLD) or Apprehended Violence Order (NSW) on your behalf.

If you do not feel you are in immediate danger, however are concerned about your safety and the safety of your children or personal property, our experienced team are ready to assist you with the completion and filing of your application to help you move forward and stay safe. We can represent you before the court at all stages of the application.

If you have been named as a respondent in a Protection Order, we can help you understand your rights and your potential legal options.

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Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone with any relationship. Whether you are a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, carer, parent, guardian, child or other family member, no one has a right to hurt you.

Violent behaviour can be behaviour that makes someone else feel scared, threatened, or be denied their own freedoms and choices. It can be a “one-off act” or an ongoing repeated pattern of behaviour and doesn’t necessarily have to be physical. Violent behaviours can include physical violence, psychological or emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual violence or assault, spiritual violence, social violence, legal violence, reproductive violence, neglect, stalking, instilling fear, as well as controlling behaviour stopping you from living the way you want.
It is never okay for anyone in a relationship to:

  • Threaten to hurt you, your children, your pets or anyone else you care about;
  • Threaten to hurt themselves if you try to leave the relationship or act in a way they do not permit;
  • Isolate you from your family or friends;
  • Refuse essential care or support for you if they are your parent, guardian or carer;
  • Instil fear in you by harassing you, following you or refusing to leave you alone;
  • Threaten to use the legal system to bully or intimidate you;
  • Stop you from making a decision about having a baby or other reproductive related matters;
  • Interfere with you receiving medication or seeking medical attention;
  • Medicate you with medicine you do not need;
  • Steal your money or use money to make your life difficult;
  • Physically touch you in ways you do not approve;
  • Force you to have sex;
  • Say or do things that make you scared or feel unsafe;
  • Share private photos or videos of you without permission;
  • Stop you from following your cultural practices or religion;
  • Damage walls, your home, or your belongings;
  • Hit, kick, push or do other physical things that hurt your body.
This list is not exhaustive and there are many other behaviours that can be considered family and domestic violence.

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is made by a magistrate in court and can protect you, your children, or anyone else at threat, by making a person committing violence against you be of good behaviour and stop committing domestic violence.

You can ask for certain conditions to be added to the order, such as making it illegal for the violent person to come within a specified distance of where you live or work.

A temporary Protection Order is an order made in the interim period before a court decides whether to make a Protection Order. A court can make a temporary Protection Order if:

  • A police officer makes an application for a temporary Protection Order to the court;
  • If an applicant of a Protection Order has requested the application be heard by the court before the respondent is served;
  • If the court adjourns the hearing of an application for a Protection Order or an application for a variation of an order.
A party may have been found to have exposed children to family violence if there is evidence that the children have overheard threats made, or seen or heard an assault on one member of the child’s family by another family member. If a child was present when police or ambulance officers attended an incident involving an assault of a family member by another member of the family this can also be considered exposing children to family violence.
When a person applies for parenting orders or responds to an application for parenting orders, the party must file a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk Form. What this form does is provides a simple way to provide information at the start of the process to the court outlining any issues of family violence or other forms of risk.
This form is the way to ensure families and their children receive appropriate and targeted early intervention and assistance, leading to safer outcomes.

A finding by a local Court Magistrate that you have engaged in domestic or family violence can have a significant impact upon any children’s matters between you and your former spouse or partner. It is therefore very important that you obtain legal advice in relation to your options if you are named as a respondent in such an application. If a domestic violence order is made against you, it may also affect any licenses and other cards you hold, including weapons and security licences. The conditions of an order are very serious. It is important to get the right advice so that you fully understand the conditions imposed against you and what the consequences are if you breach the order.