NEW LAWS RELATING TO FAMILY VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE
Are you affected by Family Violence?
On 7th June 2012 changes came into effect in how matters dealing with allegations of child abuse or family violence are now dealt with by the Courts.
Family Violence is defined as:
violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that causes or coerces a member of the family to be fearful.
The following are some illustrations of behaviour that may be considered as family violence:
• An assault;
• A sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour;
• Repeated derogatory taunts;
• Intentionally destroying a person’s property;
• Intentionally causing death or injury to an animal;
• Unreasonably denying a family member the financial autonomy that he or she would otherwise have had;
• Unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses the family member or the family member’s child at a time when that person is entirely or predominately dependent on that person for financial support;
• Preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture;
• Unlawfully depriving a family member of their liberty;
Child Abuse is defined as:
• An assault, including a sexual assault of a child;
• A person involving a child in a sexual activity in which the child is used , directly or indirectly, as a sexual object and there is unequal power in the relationship between that person and the child;
• Causing the child to suffer serious psychological harm, including (but not limited to) when that harm is caused by the child being subjected to or exposed to family violence;
• Serious neglect of the child.
A child is exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence. Examples include:
• Overhearing threats of death or personal injury by one member of the child’s family to another member of the family;
• Seeing or hearing an assault on one family member by another member of the family;
• Comforting or providing assistance to a member of the child’s family who has been assaulted by another member of the family;
• Cleaning up a site after a family member has intentionally damaged property of another family member
• Being present when police or ambulance officers attend an incident involving the assault of a family member.
These illustrations are not exhaustive and are examples of conduct that that ‘may’ be defined as family violence or exposure to family violence by the Court.
It must be noted that these illustrations on their own are not sufficient to determine that family violence has occurred. Before the Court will determine whether family violence exists in a relationship it will examine whether the conduct of the party overall is violent or threatening and causes another family member to feel coerced, controlled or fearful.
Social science literature on coercive and controlling behaviour suggest it reflects a relationship where there is ongoing subjection to one family member rather than isolated incidents of feeling compelled to do something as a result of a violent act or threat .
Coercive and controlling behaviour is distinguished from conflict instigated violence. Conflict instigated violence is described as violence that takes place when an unresolved disagreement spirals into a violent incident, but the violence is not part of a larger pattern of coercive control. This type of violence typically involves intimate partners losing control, rather than using violence to assert control .
Where a party to proceedings is asking the Court to make Orders based on the abuse of a child or family violence then that party must file a Notice of Risk of Abuse or Family Violence (‘the notice’) in Court detailing the acts that constitute the abuse or family violence.
When the notice is received by the Court and the notice contains allegations of the abuse of a child the Court is obliged to notify the relevant child welfare authority of the allegations.
The Court must also act promptly in dealing with a matter that alleges abuse of a child or family violence and consider what interim or procedural orders (if any) should be made to enable appropriate evidence about the allegations to be obtained as expeditiously as possible and to make appropriate orders that will protect the child or one of the parties to the proceedings and deal with the issues raised by the allegations in the notice as expeditiously as possible.
If you have been affected by family violence or have been accused of family violence and require advice or assistance in relation to your children or other family law related matters contact Websters Lawyers to arrange to meet with an experienced family lawyer in Adelaide for an obligation free first consultation.
Websters Lawyers have specialist family lawyers with the skill and experience that you need to ensure that you secure the best outcome and to provide the right advice at a time you need it.
FREE FIRST INTERVIEW
NO WIN NO FEE
LOCAL LAWYERS FOR LOCAL NEEDS
GET THE RIGHT LAWYER FIRST
Having such a short time frame I was very impressed with the outcome made by [my solicitor]. Excellent and timely manner
Very professional mannerism and overall great outcome was delivered by Websters Lawyers.
West Ryde NSW
Helpful, explained fully, patient, excellent service.
Patient and helpful in explaining the process.
Call Websters Lawyers for a most professional and friendly service. All understanding with [my solicitors] and the reception staff. Thank you so much.
Making my will was effortless on my part, with everything explained clearly. Well done to all.
Great service, professional, explains things clearly, definitely recommend Websters Lawyers.
Patient, professional, good communication about procedures and probable outcomes.
Thank you for all your work over the course of the case. You [both] were always very approachable and I appreciated your understanding and professionalism in all areas.
All in all my experience was great. Thank you for your time and expertise.
My matter was dealt with efficiently and was explained in an understandable language. A pleasant experience.
Practical and very helpful. Reasons and explanations given where needed
I stumbled across Websters in the Yellow Pages and I rang, explained my situation and immediately they took my case on. Greatly appreciate their services.
The service from Websters Lawyers was outstanding. [My solicitor] was caring, had patience and was very professional. Wonderful personality.
[My solicitor] made everything so simple to understand. [The receptionist] was wicked too, would recommend them anytime. Level of entire service was outstanding.
I had dealings with Websters over 20 years ago. They were my first choice when I recently needed legal advice. Both legal and office staff were professional, courteous and accessible at all times. Everything was explained up front in a clear and concise manner. I would not hesitate to recommend their services.
It has truly been a pleasure communicating with you throughout the process. I really appreciate your patient and speedy replies to my questions and requests. You were always able to provide an easily understood response and this helped me deal with the process. Your friendly and positive manner encouraged me to seek your advice.
Battery Hill QLD
[My lawyer's] service was prompt and efficient with all questions explained clearly with all our requests carried out within the laws. Overall service was very satisfactory.
[My lawyer] was excellent.
Excellent service. Professional. Clear advice and instructions. Prompt actions. Overall 10/10!
Overall, I was happy with my outcome and my lawyer, would definitely recommend [my lawyer].
[My solicitor] was excellent at helping us through preparing our wills which were particularly challenging as they involved assets in multiple countries. She was professional and knowledgeable and spent time tailoring the wills to our needs.
[My solicitor] was very helpful, respectful and polite. She made sure I understood the process and documentation of our wills.
Professional. Smooth Transaction.
I found the whole experience from Receptionist to Solicitor excellent. They completely put us at our ease.
This was a new experience for us and didn’t have a clue what to do. [Our solicitor] on our first visit put us at ease, explained what will happen, pointed out there was a strong case. [Our solicitor] was genuine in her approach, kept us well informed, explained actions several times with patience and understanding. Overall very happy with the service we received.