If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in any form, there are a number of services that you can reach out to. Seeking legal advice can be one step that you take in responding to your situation.
Please note: If you believe you or your family are in immediate danger, do not wait: contact the police immediately by calling 000.
Defining Domestic Violence
Research from various parties has shown that domestic violence in a relationship causes 66 percent of marital breakdowns.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and under Victorian law it includes acts that are:
- Controlling and domineering in a way that causes a person to fear for their own safety or that of another person
- Abusive or threatening – encompassing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economical abuse and threats
Examples of Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Emotional or psychological harm can often be more difficult to identify and spot than abuse of a physical nature. There are many examples of these types of abuse though, and they may include:
- Repeatedly contacting a person
- Preventing a person from maintaining or making personal connections
- Following a person in public
How Do I Get an AVO if I’m Experiencing Domestic Violence?
Family intervention orders are one way that you act to prevent domestic violence. Known as an AVO, you can apply for one of these interventions against someone if:
- You share a domestic or personal relationship with them
- They have, or are alleged to have been violent, threatening or intimidating against you
The Family Violence Magistrates’ Court of Victoria website can help you find the nearest court to apply for an intervention order.
What Support Resources Are Available in Victoria?
There are a number of services available in Victoria for people who wish to leave, or have left, violent relationships. Advice and support is available from:
- 1800RESPECT – national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service
- Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA)
- Domestic Violence Resource Centre
- inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
- safe steps Family Violence Response Centre
- Victims of Crime
- Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE)
What Legal Resources Are Available in Victoria?
- Your local community legal centre can give you legal information and advice. Some centres also provide advice and representation at court. Most services are free.
- The Women’s Legal Service Victoria provides free confidential legal information, advice, representation and referral to women.
- The Men’s Referral Service provides referrals and assistance to men who are victims of family violence.
- The Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service helps victims of family violence and sexual assault and works with families and communities affected by violence.
If you would like legal support for domestic violence from a private lawyer, call Robert Wood and Associates. Our team are compassionate and caring professionals, qualified to provide you with the legal advice you need. Call our office on (03) 9762 3877 or simply contact us online for a confidential discussion and to book an appointment.