Are you a victim of domestic violence or have you been served with a Domestic Violence Summons?
Sadly, domestic violence is widespread in today’s society. Domestic violence covers a wide range of behaviours, including the following:-
- Physical violence such as hitting, punching, biting and scratching;
- Threats to harm either you or your relatives or friends;
- Damage to your property;
- Intimidating or frightening you;
- Verbally and emotionally abusing you by yelling, name calling, criticising and making you feel worthless; or
- Harassing you by, for example, following you constantly, telephoning, texting or emailing you.
You can be protected from domestic violence by applying to the Court for a Protection Order. A Protection Order can only be applied for if the person committing the violence has been in a domestic relationship with you, such as a husband or wife, de facto partner or former partner. If the person committing the violence is not in a domestic relationship with you it may be appropriate to apply for a Peace and Good Behaviour Order.
Once a Protection Order Application has been filed with the Court, the party accused of committing domestic violence will be served with the Application and a Court date set for both parties to appear. At that first Court date a Court will typically make a Temporary Protection Order which will stay in place until a Final Order is made. If the person accused of committing the domestic violence opposes the Protection Order Application, the Court will set the matter down for a trial where both parties will give evidence and a Magistrate will decide whether the Order should be made.
A Court will only make a Protection Order where you have been able to prove there has been domestic violence and it is likely that the violence will occur again.
A Protection Order is usually in place for two years, but can be as short as 6 months. If at the expiry of the Protection Order you still feel unsafe, you are able to apply to the Court to have it extended for a further period of time.
We have considerable experience in assisting people who wish to take out Protection Orders. We are also able to advise and defend those people who have had Protection Order Applications taken out against them. If you find yourself in either of these situations or have further questions regarding domestic violence then please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced lawyers.