What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempt to physically or psychologically dominate or harm the other. Domestic violence is also often called intimate partner violence, family violence, or domestic abuse.
Survivors of domestic violence may be of any gender. Anyone can also be a perpetrator.
Domestic violence can be exhibited in many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation (financial abuse) or threats of violence.
Domestic violence occurs in abusive relationships across all geographic areas of Australia and in all socioeconomic and cultural groups. It is more common in some groups and in regional and rural Australia however, it has widely affected Australians on a daily basis.
Domestic violence and children
The effect of domestic violence on children is becoming increasingly known.
Studies have found that child abuse is more likely to occur in families experiencing domestic violence. Children of victims are also at risk of continuing the violence with their own children and partners and at a heightened risk of alcohol and drug abuse and delinquency later in life.
Impacts can also extend to people not directly experiencing victimisation. Effects can flow on to other children not from families experiencing domestic violence; for example, the effects of bullying or aggression by children of victims.
Domestic violence, as with any other form of crime or violence, can also extend to the wider community; for example, by contributing to increased fear of crime.
Domestic violence and the law
In family law, more and more cases are impacted by domestic violence. The Family Law Act 1975 and Family Court Act 2004 both address the need to protect victims and children from domestic violence – including the threat of domestic violence.
Together with laws available to the courts, they will also look at a number of allied services to assist the family in moving forward, away from violence, protecting children from the continued impact and effects mentioned above.
For any matter where there has been domestic violence, it is imperative that a solicitor is sought who has extensive experience in these matters.
A solicitor will be able to guide you into what the court could determine as possible outcomes in your matter, with your specific circumstances. Or alternatively, a non-litigious path to move forward with your family, outside the court system, could be achieved.
With two Independent Children’s Lawyers at Meillon & Bright (Kristie Smith and Rebecca Hall), we are exposed to children who are “at most risk” in our system and have a range of tools available to assist your family, should domestic violence or child abuse be an issue with your matter.