Domestic Violence

Our compassionate and understanding team of domestic violence lawyers can assist you if you are a victim of domestic violence or if you have been served with an application for a protection order.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence includes physical or sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, threatening behaviour and coercive behaviour as well as behaviour which controls or dominates a person causing them to fear for their safety or the safety of someone else.

Some examples of behaviours which fall within the definition of domestic violence are:

  • damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so;
  • stalking;
  • unauthorised surveillance of a person;
  • making threats to harm an animal so as to control or dominate a person; and/or
  • threatening to self-harm or commit suicide to torment, intimidate or frighten a person.

What is a protection order (domestic violence order) and who can apply for one?

A protection order is a Court order which sets out rules that the respondent (the person the order is sought against) must obey. The order requires that the respondent be of good behaviour toward the aggrieved (the person being protected) and anyone else named on the order and that they do not commit domestic violence.

The protection order also prohibits the respondent from owning a weapon or holding a weapons licence. It can also include a number of other provisions including but not limited to:

  • prohibiting the respondent from approaching the aggrieved or coming within a certain distance of the aggrieved;
  • prohibiting the respondent from attending the aggrieved’s home or workplace.

A person can apply for a domestic violence order if they are:

  • in an intimate relationship (e.g. dating, engaged, de facto, married);
  • in a family relationship (eg child over 18, relatives, parent);
  • in an informal care relationship (where one person is depended on another for their daily living activities).

A Police Officer can also make an application for a protection order on behalf of a person they think is a victim of domestic violence (the aggrieved).

You cannot make an application for a protection order against your neighbour, flatmate or child under the age of 18. (You may have the option of applying for a peace and good behaviour order in these circumstances).

When considering whether to make a protection order, the Court must be satisfied that:

  • the relevant relationship exists (outlined above);
  • that the respondent has in fact committed domestic violence against the aggrieved; and
  • that a protection order is necessary or desirable to protect the aggrieved from domestic violence

What happens if you have been served with an application for a protection order

In the event that you have been served with an application for a protection order you should obtain legal advice. If you are unable to seek advice before the first Court date you may ask for an adjournment to enable you to seek legal advice.

It is essential that you attend Court on the listed date. If you fail to attend Court a final protection order can be made in your absence.

How can we help?

We can assist you with the following:

  • urgent applications for temporary protection orders;
  • protection order applications;
  • defending an application for a protection order;
  • applications to vary a protection order; and
  • providing you with advice about the process.

To find out more about domestic violence applications and protection orders, contact our experienced team of domestic violence lawyers today.