Domestic and Family Violence

Armstrong Kutz Lawyers are committed to assisting anyone who suffers violent and abusive behaviour and threats. We understand the importance of people evaluating whether their relationships are safe and respectful. Irrespective of whether a person is young or old, or whether the relationship has been short or for a long period, MaryAnn and Jeff assist clients to navigate through the legal process.
Domestic and Family Violence (need picture here: )

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic and family violence is a pattern of behaviour. It includes violence or other abusive behaviour by one person against another person or persons in a domestic setting. Domestic violence and behaviour that is emotionally abusive is used as a method of control through fear. This behaviour can also be threats made by one person against another person or persons.

Examples of Abuse

Examples of abuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • verbal abuse such as swearing at you, yelling and shouting
  • emotional abuse such as criticising your parenting skills, your personality or your looks
  • financial abuse such as not providing enough money for survival or forcing a person to give up their own financial resources
  • social abuse such as isolation from family and friends and prevention of socialising with those who care
  • harassment and stalking such as constant texts, phone calls and following, cyber-stalking or tracking through GPS or social media
  • sexual abuse
  • deprivation of the necessities of life
  • physical abuse such as pushing, slapping or hitting
  • damaging property so as to cause fear.

Examples of Threats

Examples of threats include, but are not limited to threats to:

  • harm you or/and your children as well as your relatives, friends, colleagues or pets
  • prevent freedom of movement such as leaving the family home
  • damage personal property so as to scare and intimidate
  • cease taking care of you should you be reliant on such care
  • commit suicide or self harm in order to intimidate and control
  • disclose sexual orientation to others against a person's wishes.

A domestic violence order, also known as a DVO, is a protection order made by a magistrate in the court to stop threats and acts of domestic and family violence being made against you and others, including children.

This protection order will protect you and others named on the order by making the person committing domestic and family violence against you be of good behaviour and not commit domestic and family violence. Other conditions can be added into the DVO such as making it illegal for the respondent to approach you or come within a certain distance from you or from your home or workplace.

You can apply for a protection order directly or ask the police to make the application for you. A solicitor, community/welfare worker, family member or friend may also make the application to the court on your behalf.

Making an Application

Armstrong Kutz Lawyers can assist you in making an application for a protection order. We will help you put in as much detail as you believe is necessary to make the court aware of the extent of the abuse. It is important that we describe every domestic violence incident that has occurred, including:-

- when the domestic violence occurred
- where the domestic violence occurred
- what happened during the incident/s of domestic violence
- how the incident/s happened
- who was witness to the act/s of domestic violence
- any injuries suffered during the incident/s of domestic violence
- how you felt during and following the act/s of domestic violence (threatened, fearful or scared etc.)

Filing the Application

Armstrong Kutz Lawyers can file the application at eh Magistrates Court of if you choose, you can file the document. The Magistrates Court does not charge a fee for filing an application for a protection order. At this stage we can seek to apply for a Temporary Protection Order. If this is the case the Magistrate will make the Temporary Protection Order and that, along with the application, will be served on the respondent.

What happens next?

The police will serve a copy of the application for a protection order on the respondent. Should you not wish to be found by the respondent, we will ensure that your current location or residential address is included on the application.

Going to court

At the time of filing the application, a time will be set down for the matter to be heard in court. This date is the "mention date". There are several outcomes that may occur at this mention date. These are:-

- An adjournment to seek legal advice
- Consent to an order
- Contesting an order.

Should the order be contested then the Magistrate will set a court date and give directions for evidence to be filed and a hearing to take place.