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Domestic Violence

Evolve Legal - Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, reproductive, financial, and social abuse. In regards to child abuse, the court will give paramount consideration to the best interests of the child.

Domestic Violence is often dealt with through the local courts, or through the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. If in the latter, and there has been child abuse or family violence, the court will use its discretion to determine what parental time/responsibility arrangements are appropriate to ensure the protection of the child/children.

You can apply for an apprehended violence order (AVO) by contacting NSW Police, who can make the application on your behalf. If you have been named as the defendant in an apprehended violence order (AVO) application, you will have to attend court, which we can assist you with.

Family violence  

The concept of domestic or family violence has widened considerably over the years and it encompasses a variety of abuse including:

  • Psychological abuse – this can encompass a variety of behaviours including name calling, threatening to take away your children or possessions (i.e. your car, telephone), intimidating you, threatening to or attempting to commit suicide, telling family and friends lies about you.
  • Physical abuse – this can include threatened or actual bodily harm to you or your children, threatened harm with a physical harm, damage to property, denial of warmth, sleep, nutrition or necessary medical care.
  • Verbal abuse – that may include name calling, putting you down, harassing you by constantly calling you, using the children to threaten you and making comments meant to scare you.
  • Sexual abuse – this can include forcing or pressuring you to participate in unwanted sexual acts, rape and humiliating you with sexual acts.
  • Reproductive abuse – particularly inflicted upon women, this type of abuse can include controlling the use or non-use of your birth control or contraceptives, forcing you or pressuring you to have children or not have children.
  • Financial abuse – this encompasses controlling your finances, preventing you access to bank accounts or credit cards, preventing you from working, making you ask for money for necessities (i.e. food, clothing, medical services).
  • Social abuse – this encompasses things like controlling who you see and what you wear, making all the important decision for either yourself or your children, preventing family and friends from contacting or seeing you, stopping you from leaving the house or seeing your friends or family.

Child abuse  

The court will scrutinise any allegation of a parent abusing a child. In coming to a decision surrounding the parenting arrangement of a child, the court will give paramount consideration to whatever is in the best interests of the child. This includes having a meaningful relationship with both parents however if the child is at risk of harm, the court will make a decision that best protects the child.

The court has the discretion to order one or more of the following should a child be exposed to or be a victim of child abuse and/or family violence by one of both parents:

  1. No time is to be spent with the parent exposing the child to harm;
  2. Time spent with the parent exposing the child to harm is to be limited and supervised; or
  3. Sole parental responsibility will be awarded to one parents, giving that parent the capacity to make all long term, “big” decisions for the child.

If you or your child is in danger, please contact NSW Police Service immediately or call Triple Zero (000).

Applying for a domestic violence order  

You can apply for an apprehended violence order (AVO) by contacting NSW Police, who can make the application on your behalf. If the Police are concerned for your safety, they are able to make a provisional order which places restrictions on the other party until the matter can be put before the court.

You can also make the application yourself by attending your local court.

Responding to an apprehended violence application  

If you have been named as the defendant in an apprehended violence order (AVO) application, it is recommended you seek legal advice. You will have to attend court. If you agree with the application, the judge will be final orders. If you challenge the application, the judge will adjourn your matter and set a hearing date.

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