Family violence is defined as violent, threatening or other behaviour that coerces or controls another family member or causes them to be fearful. Some examples of behaviour that constitutes family violence are:

  • an assault
  • a sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour
  • stalking
  • repeated derogatory taunts
  • intentionally damaging property
  • unreasonably controlling or denying a family member access to finances of financial support
  • depriving a family member of their liberty

A child may be exposed to family violence if they see or hear family violence or experience the effect of family violence. Some examples of a situation where a child may be exposed to family violence include:

  • overhearing threats or violence from one family member to another family member
  • seeing or hearing an assault by one family member on another family member
  • being present when police of ambulance officers attend to a family member who has been assaulted by another family member.

Family violence is defined in Family Law as:

  • a family member doing something or threatening to do something to another member of their family; or
  • a family member doing or threatening to do something to the other family member’s property that makes the other family member (or someone else in the family) worried or fearful for their safety.

What can I do if I experience family violence?

There are many support services available if you are experiencing family and domestic violence, It is advised that you remove yourself and any children from the situation and obtain legal advice.

Some support services include:

I have brought a violence restraining order against my former partner. Do I need to tell the Family Court?

You should tell the Family Court if you have a violence restraining order (domestic and family violence) (VRO), against your former partner, or which involves your children or any other person who is part of your Family Court case. The Court will look at any family violence involving a child or member of the child’s family. If there is a family violence order that currently applies or has applied in the past to your family, the Court will look at:

  • the nature and circumstances of that order
  • any evidence that was put forward in the proceedings leading to the order
  • any findings that the Court made during the proceedings
  • anything else that the Court sees as relevant.

If you find yourself in this situation whilst going through Family Court orders, Testart Family Lawyers can assist you with this issue. Please do not hesitate to call us on 9854 6212, or email Marc Testart at marctestart@testartfamilylawyers.com.au

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