Domestic Violence

Domestic violence occurs when parties are in a relationship and one party commits any of the following acts in relation to the other party:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Threatening or coercive behaviour
  • Behaviour which controls or dominates the other party or causes them to fear for their safety or wellbeing.

In additional to conventional marriages, relationships covered by domestic violence laws include:

  • De facto relationships
  • Former spouses
  • Persons who are engaged to be married
  • Persons who are deemed to be a couple
  • Family relationships – persons usually related by blood or marriage
  • An informal care relationship – where one party relies on the other party to assist them with daily living activities.

If you are in a relationship which is covered by the domestic violence laws and another party to that relationship commits an act of domestic violence towards you, then you may wish to apply to the Magistrates Court for a Domestic Violence Order.  The application will be heard by the Magistrates Court and if granted, a Domestic Violence Order will be made.

A Domestic Violence Order usually imposes a standard condition requiring the other party to be of good behaviour toward you and not commit any further acts of domestic violence.  You may also request further conditions be imposed to prevent the other party from contacting or approaching you or your family members or associates.  The granting of a Domestic Violence Order will also require the other party to surrender all firearms in their possession.

If you are the subject of an application for a Domestic Violence Order and you do not believe the Order should be granted, then you will need to appear at the hearing to oppose the application.

We understand that the issue of domestic violence is highly personal and emotive.  Few people feel confident enough to appear in Court to apply for or oppose applications for Domestic Violence Orders without some assistance.

If you wish to apply for a Domestic Violence Order or, if you wish to oppose an application for a Domestic Violence Order you should obtain legal assistance as soon as possible.