Domestic Violence

Domestic violence ranges from direct physical action, verbal abuse, sexual attack, stalking and property damage to more subtle forms of intimidation. These include financial and emotional manipulation designed to intimidate you and erode your confidence and wellbeing.

Often domestic relationships can end on extremely acrimonious and negative terms. Other times one party may simply feel that they need protection from the other. Whatever the case, we have represented both the Aggrieved or Respondents in these matters on many occasions. The standard rules of evidence do not apply to such a scenario and the relevant test of law is quite low. It is therefore essential. Especially if you are a Respondent, to seek legal advice immediately to avoid the matter affecting you, your livelihood or your family.

Domestic Violence Law in Queensland

New laws were introduced in Queensland in 2012 to provide protection to people who experience violence in a domestic or family situation. A domestic violence protection order is a civil order that prevents the person whom the order is taken out against (the respondent) from acting violently towards anyone named in the order. It does this by stating rules and conditions that the respondent must obey. If they don’t follow these conditions and breach what the order says, there are serious criminal consequences that can lead to imprisonment.

Geldard Sherrington Lawyers have a wealth of experience in domestic violence matters and are able to provide a holistic approach to these complex situations. We can help you if you are in need of protection from violence in a relationship or if you have been charged with contravening a protection order that was made against you.

Examples of behaviour that constitutes domestic violence includes but not limited to:

  • Injuring (or threatening to injure) you(e.g. punching, strangling, pushing, slapping, grabbing);
  • Repeatedly contacting you without your consent (e.g. calling, texting, emailing, or contacting you on social network);
  • Damaging (or threatening to damage) your property (e.g. punching holes in the walls or breaking plates);
  • Stalking you, following you, or remaining outside your house or place of work;
  • Holding you against your will;
  • Threatening to commit suicide or self-harm to scare you;
  • Threatening you with the death or harm of another person.

 

If someone has applied for a domestic violence order against you, you have four options in moving forward. You can:

  • Consent to an Order being made;
  • Ask for the proceedings to be adjourned so you can get legal advice;
  • Oppose the orders the aggrieved has asked for;
  • Do nothing and not attend court (although an order may still be made in your absence).

You must consider the following if there is a domestic violence order made against you:

  • Do not break the conditions on the order or the notice, even if you do not agree with it.
  • Read the order or notice carefully and contact us for legal advice so that we are able to explain the conditions imposed against you.

A domestic violence protection order is a civil order, which means that you are not charged with a criminal offence unless you breach the order. You must follow the conditions set out in the protection order. If you breach the conditions in the order, the police can charge you with a criminal offence where you will face serious penalties.

Section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Act 2014 makes it an offence to breach the conditions of a protection order if the Respondent against whom a domestic violence order has been made:

  • Was present in Court when the order was made;
  • Has been served with a copy of the order;