Domestic violence occurs in all household types, across all incomes. Women and children are affected by domestic violence; however, men in some cases are the victims. You do not have to live in fear of another person or be concerned for your safety. Our lawyers can assist you in applying for a protection order to stop the person who has power and control over you from causing further harm.
You can apply for a domestic violence order against a person you are or have been in a relationship with or against somebody else in your family. For family members, so long as you are related by blood or marriage then you can apply for a DVO against that person.
Please note that you can only apply for a DVO against somebody over the age of 18. However, you may apply for a DVO if you are a minor.
Types of relationships include:
- Husband & Wife
- De factos
- Boyfriend / Girlfriend
- Same sex partners
- Relationships involving intimacy eg. casual acquaintances.
- Relatives by blood or marriage e.g. brother, sister, daughter, son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, parents, parents-in-law, aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins, second cousins.
- Step parents, step-children or step-siblings (even if not married).
- Person regarded as family even though not related.
If the person you are seeking protection from, does not fall into one of the above categories, such as a neighbour, tradesperson or colleague, we may still be able to obtain a restraining order on your behalf under the provisions of the Peace & Good Behaviour Act if they have:
- Harmed or threatened to harm you
- Damaged or threatened to damage your property.
The important thing to remember is that domestic violence is never acceptable and if you feel that you are in danger you should contact the Police for immediate assistance. Often verbal abuse can escalate into physical abuse and in the worst of cases death.
Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is not always physical and can involve many forms of abuse, including;
- Verbal abuse
- Shouting, Swearing, Yelling at you
- Emotional abuse
- Patronising, Belittling or Criticising you
- Calling you names and putting you down.
- Psychological abuse
- Controlling you or your behaviour
- Tormenting you
- Defeating your self esteem.
- Depriving you of necessities such as food, accommodation or medical treatment.
- Making repeated unwanted phone calls or sending a high volume of text messages to you
- Contacting your friends or relatives without your consent.
- Contacting your workplace or employer.
- Financial abuse
- Taking money from your bank account without your consent
- Forcing you to buy things or controlling the way you spend your money.
- Spending funds on alcohol, drugs or gambling instead of paying rent or other expenses.
- Cutting you off or removing financial assistance.
- Standing over you
- Backing you into a corner
- Having other people confront you.
- Threatening to physically harm you and your friends or relatives.
- Threatening to commit suicide or self harm
- Threatening to contact someone and make disparaging remarks about you.
- Threatening to damage or destroy property.
- Threatening to disrupt your association or membership to a club, organisation, religious group, workplace or social venue.
- Sexual abuse
- Making unwanted advances towards you.
- Pressuring you into having an intimate relationship.
- Forcing you to have sex against your will.
- Coercing you into participating in sexual activities that you find demeaning or degrading.
- Taking photographs or videoing sexual activities without your knowledge or consent.
- Rape and sexual assault.
- Physical abuse
- Punching, kicking, pushing, slapping and hitting you.
- Injuring you or friends and relatives during anger outbursts even if unintended.
- Following you around including in a motor vehicle.
- Tracking your movements and who you are associating with by monitoring your mobile phone, email accounts or with other GPS technology.
- Cyber-stalking you on social media
- Attending your home or workplace without your consent.
- Attending a place you regularly frequent, such as a school, park, restaurant, shopping centre, friend or relative’s place without your prior arrangement.
- Property damage
- Damaging your personal belongings or jointly owned property
- Punching holes in the wall or smashing windows.
- Throwing household objects including plates or furniture.
- Social Abuse
- Not allowing you to associate with certain people including friends or relatives.
- Not allowing you to see your children.
- Controlling where you go and what you wear.
Domestic Violence Towards Children
It is important to remember that children are often the forgotten victims of domestic violence. If a child is a victim of domestic violence or has been exposed to domestic violence they can be protected by your domestic violence order. Examples of domestic violence towards children can include:
- Physical Abuse
- The use of heavy handed discipline techniques eg. Smacking that leaves bruises or being hit with a belt.
- Assaults including being punched, pushed or kicked.
- Psychological Abuse
- Being chastised or bullied by a parent.
- Being sworn at or constantly put down.
- Living in fear of a parent.
- Not being allowed to spend time with or maintain a relationship with the other parent.
- Failing to be provided with necessities such as food, water and sleep.
- Failing to be properly supervised resulting in the risk of harm.
- Exposure to Domestic Violence
- Being present while parents are arguing including exposure to verbal abuse.
- Witnessing physical abuse including one parent assaulting the other.
- Being subjected to adult affairs including being used in disputes between parents and exposed to financial pressures.
- Exposure to alcoholism, drug taking and criminal activities.
At Adams Wilson Lawyers we have experience in cases of Domestic Violence and regularly appear in State Courts and Federal Courts in these matters. Our family lawyers can provide you with advice on the best course of action, take instructions and act on your behalf where necessary in processing Applications.
Our lawyers are also able to assist you with responding to domestic violence applications and applications involving the Queensland Police Service. It is important to know that as an aggrieved party, you are entitled to your own legal representation as you may not agree with the order or conditions being sought by the police.
We can process an Application for a Protection Order on your behalf in the Magistrates Court, or an Ouster Order. An Ouster Order is a form of exclusion order that acts to prevent homelessness for women and children by removing the perpetrator of violence from the home rather than the victim.
We can seek conditions in the Protection Order that adequately address your protection needs, including:
- No contact provisions eg. telephone, text, email, social media
- Non approach conditions eg. not to come within 30 meters of you
- Restrictions on attending certain places eg. your residence or workplace
- Eviction from your residence or a joint residence
- Recovery of your essential property (with the assistance of police if necessary)
If you have associates, relatives or children that require protection from the respondent then they can also be named on your domestic violence order.
If you are responding to a domestic violence order, we can ensure that any protection order being sought against you does not affect your ability to spend time with children of the relationship or attend places that you are required to for your employment or education. If you do not feel that the basis upon which the protection order is justified or you dispute the allegations being made against you then we can represent you in contesting the matter at a hearing.
In exceptional circumstances both parties to the relationship or family members can simultaneously be a perpetrator and victim of domestic violence. If this is the case then we can file a cross-application on your behalf and conversely oppose any inappropriate and unnecessary cross-application brought against you.
In over half of all cases domestic violence goes unreported. Although we strongly encourage it, you do not need to report your domestic violence concerns to the police before we are able to represent you. If however you are in danger then you should call 000 immediately.
If you have experienced domestic violence in any form please don’t hesitate to seek help. There are many services and helplines available to assist victims of abuse. For legal advice or protection orders talk to the family lawyers at Adams Wilson today. Our experienced family law solicitors on the Gold Coast who may assist are: