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How to Fight against Domestic Violence

According to a 2020 report by the Australian Institute of Criminology, more than half the women who experienced coercive control from their partners reported the escalation of emotionally abusive, harassing or controlling behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rise in domestic violence is attributable to a combination of factors including increased time spent at home, increased social isolation, increased financial stress and job insecurity. What can you do when you experience domestic violence? In this article, we will explain the fundamental elements of domestic violence in NSW and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO).

What is domestic violence?

First, you may notice that the definition of domestic relationship is actually quite broad. Under the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) (‘the Act’), the definition encompasses marriage, de facto relationships, intimate relationships, and couples living in the same household.  Under the Act, domestic violence means an offence committed by a person against another person with whom the person who commits the offence has (or had) a domestic relationship, being:

  1. A personal violence offence; or
  2. An offence which is intended to coerce or control the person and cause intimidation or fear.

Furthermore, Intimidation includes:

  1. harassment or molestation of the person, such as cyberbullying by publication or transmission of offensive material over social media or via email;
  2. conduct causing the person to fear for his or her life by telephone, text messaging, emailing and other technological means;
  3. conduct causing apprehension of injury;
  4. damage to property.

Are you a victim of domestic violence?

In NSW, you can ring the Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63) to speak with a caseworker from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. Alternatively, you could seek an ADVO which is a court order to protect people from violence and intimidation (including harassment) by another person. We can help you apply for an ADVO in the Local Court.

When an ADVO is granted, some mandatory conditions are attached to the ADVO including:

  1. the defendant is prohibited from assaulting, threatening, stalking, harassing, or intimidating the protected person, or damaging property;
  2. the defendant must not approach the protected person; and
  3. the defendant must not come within a certain distance of the premises where they reside or work.

Have you been served with an ADVO?

If you are served with an ADVO, your rights are adversely affected. For example, you may have to move out of your home; you may lose your job after your employer runs a police check; or you may lose your right to see your children in the Family Court. If you are a visa holder, you could even lose your right to stay in Australia.

If you think you are involved in a domestic violence matter, please contact our professional lawyers to help you. Our team has rich experience in domestic violence and family law matters, and we are committed to protecting your rights and your best interests.

If you need legal advice for your criminal matter and would like a quotation for our services, please give us a call on 02 9283 8588.

Disclaimer: This publication is general information only and does not purport to provide legal advice. We do not accept responsibility for any losses for reliance upon this publication.

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