No doubt you are well aware of some of the publicity and recent changes that have been made regarding domestic violence in Queensland.
You may already be aware that a separate court to deal exclusively with domestic violence matters and two new shelters form the basis of Queensland’s $31 million legal response to Quentin Bryce’s ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ report into domestic and family violence.
The establishment of a specialist Domestic Violence court at Southport is welcome news and puts Southport at the forefront of dealing with domestic violence.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is behaviour by a person towards another person with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship that:
- is physically or sexually abusive; or
- is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
- is economically abusive; or
- is threatening; or
- is coercive; or
- in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for the second person’s safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.
Domestic violence includes the following behaviour:
- causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so;
- coercing a person to engage in sexual activity or attempting to do so;
- damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so;
- depriving a person of the person’s liberty or threatening to do so;
- threatening a person with the death or injury of the person, a child of the person, or someone else;
- threatening to commit suicide or self-harm so as to torment, intimidate or frighten the person to whom the behaviour is directed;
- causing or threatening to cause the death of, or injury to, an animal, whether or not the animal belongs to the person to whom the behaviour is directed, so as to control, dominate or coerce the person;
- unauthorised surveillance of a person;
- unlawfully stalking a person.
Know your Rights
Given the current climate surrounding domestic violence matters in Queensland it is important that the public is informed and know their rights when it comes to domestic violence orders and the affects these orders can have on their lives. The various changes to the Queensland legislation have also impacted upon the advice that needs to be given both to Aggrieved and Respondents to such applications.
Domestic Violence and the Family/Federal Circuit Court:
In our line of work we often see that family or domestic violence can have far reaching ramifications and can have a profound impact when it comes to deciding parenting matters in the Family or Federal Circuit Courts.
For example, when a Family and/or Federal Circuit Court determines what is in a child’s best interests, one of the primary considerations is the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.
The Court will also look at “additional considerations” which under s60CC3(k) of the Family Law Act 1975, includes if a family violence order applies, or has applied, to the child or a member of the child’s family – any relevant inferences that can be drawn from the order taking into account the following:
- The nature of the order;
- The circumstances in which the order was made;
- Any evidence admitted in proceedings for the order;
- Any findings made by the court in, or in proceedings for, the order;
- Any other relevant matter.
Accordingly, it is important to remember that decisions made in domestic violence courts can often impact into the Family Court arena when parenting orders are being decided.
Reardon Family Lawyers are happy to listen to any concerns and to assist people generate economic and sensible options as to how best to make progress towards resolution of family or domestic violence matters including applications, defence and dealing with alleged breaches.
If we or any members of our team can assist you with the often devastating consequences of domestic violence or relationship breakdowns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.