Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has affected us all, especially if you are (or you know of someone who is) at risk of domestic and family violence, especially with the need to self-isolate or social-distance, which may increase the risk of abuse.
Remember – domestic and family violence is not just “physical.”
It can include any of the following:
1) “Emotional or psychological abuse” such as:
a. Repeatedly contacting a person by telephone, SMS message, email or social networking site without the person’s consent;
b. Following a person when the person is out in public, including by vehicle or on foot;
c. Remaining outside a person’s residence or place of work;
d. Repeated derogatory taunts, including racial taunts;
e. Threatening to withhold a person’s medication;
f. Threatening to disclose a person’s sexual orientation to the person’s friends
g. Preventing a person from making or keeping connections with the person’s family, friends or culture, including cultural or spiritual ceremonies or practices, or preventing the person from expressing the person’s cultural identity.
2) “Economic abuse” such as:
a. Coercing a person to relinquish control over assets and income;
b. Removing or keeping a person’s property without the person’s consent, or threatening to do so;
c. Preventing a person from seeking or keeping employment;
d. Coercing a person to claim social security payments; and
e. Coercing a person to sign any legal document for the establishment or operation of a business, a contract of guarantee, a contract for the purchase of goods or services or a contract for the provision of finance, a loan or credit.
If any of the above applies to you (or to someone you know), we are ready, willing and able to advise and assist you further as trusted domestic and family violence lawyers.
1) Safety Planning (i.e. developing a workable “game plan” about how you (and any children) can stay safe physically and emotionally in a particular situation/environment at home, at work or travelling by car/public transport;
2) Providing you with trusted legal advice regarding the next steps in preparing a Protection Order Application seeking a Protection Order (i.e. “a DVO”) to legally protect you (and any children) from being exposed to family and domestic violence perpetrated by your ex-partner/spouse; and
3) Referral to reputable organisations and suitably-qualified professionals if you (and your children) urgently require safe alternative accommodation temporarily and/or private therapeutic counselling to go through this traumatic and uncertain period.
To discuss how COVID-19 specifically affects your family law matter, please contact us today on (07) 3211 4920 or visit our website: www.emfl.com.au to make an initial appointment over the phone or by video-link. Please note that this post provides general legal information only and does not provide or intends to provide legal advice.