Domestic Violence – Victoria

Unfortunately domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence or family violence) and abuse affect many families and children.

The definition of domestic violence (DV) is broad and varies according to the context. There are many different types of conduct which can constitute DV.

In Victoria, Intervention Orders are made by the Magistrates Court.

You can make an application for an Intervention Order personally or the police can make one on your behalf. If you wish to make an application yourself, it is advisable that you make an appointment to seek specific legal advice prior to doing so.

The orders that can be sought under the Intervention Order legislation include (among other things) orders that prevent a person from approaching a specific property or place, or being within 100 metres of the protected person, or contacting the protected person.

They can also be flexible to allow exceptions for example, if the contact is pursuant to a Family Court Order or a written agreement. Intervention Orders can also be what are commonly referred to as ‘under one roof’ Orders. This means that the protected person and the person whom the Intervention Order is against can continue to live under one roof and have no restraint on their contact, however certain behaviours are prohibited.

If you or your child is a person named as a protected person in an Intervention Order or if you are the person whom the Intervention Order is against, then it is very important that you have a clear understanding of what behaviour is permitted and what behaviour is prohibited. If you are found to be in breach of an Intervention Order then you could face criminal charges.

It is also possible to obtain an Order from the Family Courts exercising their jurisdiction under the Family Law Act 1975 restraining a person from engaging in acts which constitute Domestic Violence or which have the same effect as an Intervention Order restraining people from engaging in certain behaviour or being in contact with another person.

There is quite an overlap between DV issues and family law issues and the Courts are sensitive to that. Considering how to make provision for children in circumstances where there is domestic violence, and how to deal with a family law matter if an Intervention Order can be made, are vital considerations to the final outcome for a party to proceedings.

If you would like further information in relation to domestic violence and/or intervention orders please call or email us to make an appointment with one of our lawyers.

Examples of just some of the questions we can help you answer are:

  • How does the law define family violence?
  • My partner won’t let me see my friends or have access to money, is this violence?
  • My partner loves me but controls everything I do, is this violence?
  • Where can I go and get some support or assistance in dealing with family violence issues?
  • I feel really unsafe, what should I do?
  • Our children are around and have seen the violence, what does this mean for the children and will it have an impact now that we are separating?
  • My partner and I have separated but the violence and harassment continues, how can I make it stop?
  • How can I protect myself and the children?
  • How can I get an Intervention Order?
  • What will having an Intervention Order in place mean for my day to day life?
  • We are probably going to need to go to Court to deal with parenting or property issues, how will the family violence impact on these proceedings?
  • Can I stop a violent partner seeing the kids?