Services > Family Violence

What is family violence?

 “Family violence is when someone behaves abusively towards a family member. It is part of a pattern of behaviour that controls or dominates a person and causes them to fear for their own or others’ safety and wellbeing. 

Violent and abusive behaviour includes physical and sexual violence, and financial, emotional and psychological abuse. Slapping, hitting, rape, verbal threats, harassment, stalking, withholding money, and deliberately isolating someone from their friends and family are some examples of the types of behaviour that occur in family violence.” Family Violence Victoria

When family violence is experienced or claimed, it can be difficult to deal with. We can provide you with help to navigate this often-stormy sea.

What does the law have to say about family violence?

Claims of family violence are dealt with in Magistrates’ Courts. If family violence is claimed, the Court may make an intervention order to protect the person affected by family violence, including any children.

If the safety of a child is at risk, Children’s Courts may make protection orders. Sometimes, family violence may result in criminal charges.

If a person applies for a parenting order, family law courts must also consider whether there are any family violence issues. Parties must frankly inform the court about any family violence, claims of family violence or child abuse. Proven family violence is likely to have a significant impact on parenting orders.

What to do if you or your family experience family violence

In an emergency, call police on 000.

You or police may take legal steps to prevent family violence, including making an application for an intervention order. Get help if family violence affects your safety or well-being or that of a child or other family member. You can find further information on the Victoria Legal Aid website.

We can provide you with information on your legal options if you are affected by family violence.

What to do if a family member claims you have been violent?

A claim of family violence may be difficult and confronting. It’s important to take stock of the circumstances and get help, to work out the best course for you.  

There are opportunities to negotiate the duration, and any conditions, of an intervention order. An order may be made by consent, without any admission of fault. You may agree an undertaking (i.e., a promise not to do family violence), instead of an order.

Sometimes, it may be best to defend a claim. When deciding your approach, all of the circumstances (including any impact on parenting issues) should be considered. For more information, visit the Victoria Legal Aid website.

We can provide you with legal advice on your options if you have been served with an intervention order which has been made against you.

How can we help you?

We can advise and guide you in family violence matters, and provide legal advice on the impact of family violence on any related parenting or family law matters. We can prepare documents and represent you at court. We aim to ease you through this difficult time and give you confidence.

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