The law recognises that living free from all forms of violence including domestic violence is a fundamental human right. If you are experiencing domestic violence it is important that you know your illegal financial and housing options. Obtained legal advice especially if you are considering making a court at application. Separation is a dangerous time. Where ever possible speak to a domestic violence counsellor before leaving about safety planning for you and the children.
You may want to:
- Get specialised support from a DV counsellor. (1800 737 323) more phone numbers are available on this website .They can talk through all your options in a non-judgemental way. If you don’t want to separate they can talk about safe ways of staying in the relationship or safe ways of leaving, if this is what you want.
- Apply for a “domestic violence protection order” (different states will use different names)
- Seek help from the police. If the behaviour is a criminal offence, such as assault, rape or damage to property, you can ask the police to lay criminal charges against the person. In some circumstances the police can make an application for a domestic violence protection order (DVPO) on your behalf. The decision to report can be difficult. Speak to a DV counsellor about all your options. Call 000 if you are in immediate danger.
- Seek other court orders. If you are married or in a defacto relationship and are already going to the family law courts for other proceedings, the court can order that your ex stop their abusive behaviour towards you. These orders can be expensive and difficult to enforce in comparison to DVPOs.
We acknowledge the Women’s Legal Service for this information.