Recent restrictions imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic indicate increased cause for concern when it comes to the safety and well-being of those experiencing domestic and family violence. This was highlighted by a Monash University study of family violence victim support practitioners, which found that almost 60 per cent of practitioners said the pandemic had increased the frequency and severity of violence against women.
Domestic and family violence can manifest in numerous ways, from physical violence to veiled emotional and psychological abuse. Such violence can be experienced both directly and indirectly.
If you are a victim of family or domestic violence, it is common to feel trapped by your circumstances, but it is important to realise that there are legal protections you can obtain such as a Domestic Violence Order in Qld to help protect you and your children from domestic violence.
Defining Domestic Violence
Domestic and family violence has been identified in Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 as encompassing behaviour that:
(a) is physically or sexually abusive; or
(b) is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
(c) is economically abusive; or
(d) is threatening; or
(e) is coercive; or
(f) in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for the second person’s safety or wellbeing or that of someone else
These behaviours can have a devastating impact on children living in affected households. According to legislation, a child is considered to be exposed to domestic violence if the child sees or hears domestic violence or otherwise experiences the effects of domestic violence.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) found that one in six women (16% or 1.5 million) and one in ten men (11% or 991,600) aged 18 years and over experienced abuse before the age of 15. The study also noted that one in ten men and one in eight women had witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner before the age of 15.
Legal Protection from Domestic Violence
A Domestic Violence Order in QLD (DVO) can be a powerful tool for protecting yourself and your children from ongoing domestic abuse.
A DVO is an official document issued by courts to stop threats or acts of domestic violence by explicitly setting out conditions that must be subsequently obeyed by the person who has committed the violence (the Respondent). Protection orders enforce that the Respondent must not commit domestic violence against the victim (the Aggrieved) or any other person named in the Order, including children.
Courts are able to make a Domestic Violence Order in QLD if a relevant relationship exists, the Respondent has committed domestic violence against the Aggrieved and the DVO is considered necessary or desirable to prevent further domestic violence from occurring. Disobeying the order is a criminal offence. If any condition of the order is broken by the Respondent, then the Aggrieved may contact police who may charge the Respondent with an offence.
Get Expert Advice on Protecting Your Children via a Domestic Violence Order in Qld
If you are fearful for your safety or the safety of your child, contact Emerson Family Law over the phone at (07) 3211 4920 and make us aware of your situation. Our team is qualified in areas concerning family violence and are sensitive to the unique requirements of every family violence situation. We can make an application for a Domestic Violence Order in QLD on your behalf, and help protect you and your family from family violence.