Domestic violence is scary, not only for the parents, but particularly for children. Far too many relationships are characterised by domestic violence. As experienced specialist family lawyers we can explain what domestic violence is and the process for applying for a domestic violence order (called a protection order) to the Queensland Magistrates Court.
We are aware of risk factors and how to properly plan for safety for both you and your children, and therefore minimise risk, but maximise safety.
About 70% of all protection order applications in Queensland are brought by police. Just under 30% are private applications.
Domestic Violence Assistance
Whether the police have applied for a protection order on your behalf, or whether you feel that you need to do so yourself, we can help you. We can also represent you if an application for a protection order is made against you. The making of a protection order against you may adversely affect you including in your employment. Anyone served with an application for protection should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
As DV Connect says: “domestic and family violence happens within all cultures, all demographic and socio economic groups, at all ages and between de facto and married relationships; within intimate personal relationships including same sex relationships, between family members and within informal care relationships.”
What Is Domestic Violence?
The definition of domestic violence is very broad. It is not limited to simply acts of physical violence. Domestic violence can include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Economic abuse
- Threats or coercion
Different types of domestic violence
Sadly, domestic violence occurs in rich households and poor households. While domestic violence primarily occurs by men to women, it also occurs:
- In same sex relationships
- By women to men
We have acted in all these kinds of domestic violence.
Sadly, violence also occurs within families, for example from sons to their mothers. We have acted in these kinds of cases too.
In November I had the pleasure on my first outing as a partner of Page Provan, family and fertility lawyers, of presenting to the Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity and Inclusion Network, just before the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Impact on employment
The obtaining of protection orders can have a severe impact on respondents to protection orders. For those in certain types of employment, for example, licensed security providers under the Security Providers Act 1993 (Qld) and those with authorities under the Explosives Act 1999(Qld), may lose their livelihoods. We have acted for aggrieved and respondents. We have had applications for protection orders dismissed when there is no domestic violence disclosed. Stephen Page has appeared in many Magistrates Courts in southeast Queensland on applications under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld)
Family violence and the family court/federal circuit court
Confusingly, family violence under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) includes both domestic violence and family violence under the Domestic and Family Violence Act 2012 (Qld). Family violence is a common, and often central, feature of cases before the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. We have acted for many clients where family violence is an issue.
Family violence can be relevant to property settlement. Often however bringing such a claim can be very expensive, for relatively little return. In parenting matters, family violence is a factor that is directly taken into account as to the best interests of children. Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which deals with the factors that the court takes into account as to the best interests of children, makes clear reference to family violence:
- Section 60CC(2)(b): the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.
- Section 60CC(3)(i): the attitude to the child, and to the responsibilities of parenthood, demonstrated by each of the child’s parents.
- Section 60CC(3)(j): any family violence involving the child or a member of the child’s family.
- Section 60CC(3)(k): if a family violence order applies, or has applied, to the child or a member of the child’s family–any relevant inferences that can be drawn from the order, taking into account the following:
- (i) the nature of the order;
- (ii) the circumstances in which the order was made;
- (iii) any evidence admitted in proceedings for the order;
- (iv) any findings made by the court in, or in proceedings for, the order;
- (v) any other relevant matter.
Our partner Stephen Page
- Was responsible for adding sections to our domestic violence legislation to ensure kids were not witnesses in their parents’ domestic violence trials
- Has been the Queensland Law Society representative about domestic violence, including during the drafting of the Family and Domestic Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld)
- Has been a White Ribbon Ambassador of the Year, including being nominee for Ambassador for the Year in 2011
- Chaired a domestic violence women and children’s shelter committee
- Co-founded a domestic violence service
- Has presented at about domestic violence at conferences in Australia and the US and lectured US law students
- Served for 13 years on a court based domestic violence committee
- Was Deputy Chair of domestic violence charity Australia’s CEO Challenge Ltd
Domestic Violence Legal Help
Find out how we can help you today