Domestic Violence

What is ‘family violence’?

Family violence is actual or threatened conduct by a family member, towards another family member or property, that causes a person to be fearful or anxious about his or her safety or wellbeing.

A child is exposed to family violence if he or she hears or experiences the effects of family violence.

Family violence leaves a lasting and devastating impact on the lives of many and may be physical, psychological, or both.

Family violence can include actual or threatened assault or sexual assault, stalking, derogatory and intimidating remarks, intentional damage or destruction of property, unreasonable suppression of financial resources or support, and preventing or depriving a family member of his or her cultural connections or freedom.

What can you do if you are concerned about family violence?

Protection from family or domestic violence is available by way of a Family Violence Order made by a Court under the relevant state or territory laws.

They are named differently in various jurisdictions. In New South Wales, they are referred to as Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO).

The purpose of an ADVO is to provide protection to a person who is in fear of violence, and the ADVO will ordinarily prohibit a person from behaving in a certain way or going within a certain distance of the home or workplace of the protected person.

The Court can:

  1. Make an ADVO if a defendant consents to one being made; or
  2. If evidence is heard proving that a person in need of protection fears violence or harassment by the defendant.

What happens if someone tries to make an ADVO against you?

If an application has been made for ADVO against you, it is important that you first seek advice from an experienced lawyer. The repercussions of breaching an ADVO if made against you are significant.

Whilst we cannot assist you with applications, injunctions and orders to help protect family members against actual or threatened violence, we can provide you with referrals to solicitors who specialise in Family violence.