Family Violence and Intervention Orders

Recent amendments to the Family Law Act have sought to further protect children, and participants in family law proceedings, from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

Family Violence is defined by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) as: “violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful.”

Examples of family violence include an assault, or sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour, stalking, repeated derogatory taunts, intentionally damaging or destroying property, intentionally causing death or injury to an animal, unreasonably denying financial autonomy or financial support needed, preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture, or unlawfully depriving a person of their liberty.

A child is deemed to have been exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence.  

Violence is described in the legislation in gender neutral terms, and thereby encompasses abusive behavior in both heterosexual and same sex relationships.

If you have any concerns about family violence, please advise our team. The Court in consultation with us can devise a “safety plan” to assist you with your attendance at Court. This can include appearing to give evidence by video link, attendance with support person, the use of security entrances and the assistance of security personnel.

Our specialist team can also assist you in obtaining an intervention order through the Magistrates Court for urgent protection, if necessary.