Domestic Violence – Protecting Your Children

Domestic violence is a dangerous issue that, unfortunately, affects thousands of families across Australia every day. The result of it can be devastating, leaving lasting emotional, psychological, and physical scars on victims and their loved ones.

The effects of domestic violence can be far-reaching, impacting not only the victims themselves but also the children who witness the abuse.

If you are in a domestic violence situation, it’s crucial to understand your legal rights and the protections available to you and your children.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence takes many forms, under Victorian law it includes acts that are:

Controlling and domineering in a way that causes a person to fear for their own safety or that of another person.

Abusive or threatening acts – encompassing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economical abuse and threats.

From physical acts of violence and threating behaviour to psychological abuse such isolating a person from friends and family, each type of abuse can have a profound impact on an individual’s wellbeing and the overall family dynamic.

Addressing domestic violence requires a multifaceted approach, involving professional support services, legal interventions, and community-based programs. But it is important to know that help is available, and legally there are a number of options available to provide protection to victims and their children.

Legal Rights and Protections for Victims

Victims of domestic violence have the right to seek legal recourse, including obtaining restraining orders (AVO’s) and pressing criminal charges. Laws vary by state and territory, but common protections include the ability to exclude an abusive partner from the home, receive temporary financial support, and gain custody of children.

Reaching out to local domestic violence organisations can connect victims with legal aid, counselling, and other vital support services. Alternatively, contacting a local family lawyer experienced in domestic violence matters can help facilitate the process for legal protection. No one should have to face domestic abuse alone.

Custody and Visitation Considerations in Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence cases present unique challenges when it comes to parenting orders and visitation arrangements. The safety and wellbeing of the child/ren must always be the top priority. Courts must carefully evaluate the history of abuse, the risk of future harm, and the ability of the abusive parent to provide a safe and nurturing environment. If violence escalates, supervised visitation, restricted visitation, and even termination of parental rights may be necessary in severe cases to protect the child. The law is clear – the child’s best interests come first when domestic violence is a factor. Seeking guidance from experienced family lawyers is vital in ensuring the right decisions are made.

Tips for Parents Experiencing Domestic Violence

Knowing your children are exposed to domestic violence is heart-breaking. Understanding the legal system can feel overwhelming, but there are resources and support available – victims and their children deserve safety and justice.

Some key tips for parents experiencing domestic violence include:

  • Documenting all incidents – Keep a diary of any incidents, and a detailed description of events. Keep emails, text messages, and any other evidence of violence. Also take photos if you can.
  • Validating your child’s feelings – Let them know that it’s okay to feel scared, sad, or angry. Encourage open communication and provide comfort.
  • Implementing routines and structure – This can help children gain a sense of stability and help them feel secure during a chaotic time.
  • Know your rights – speak with an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible, as they will be able to help you understand what you can do to protect yourself and your children.
  • Seek professional domestic violence support – Melbourne is home to many DV support services and there are also many national services available 24/7.

National Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service can be contacted by calling 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or you can use their web chat service.

Lifeline on 131 114 and Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 provide counselling services over the phone or via webchat.

There are many specialist family violence services that offer counselling, crisis accommodation, safety plans, advice on protection orders and other legal support services.

If at any time you or your child are in immediate danger, call 000 immediately and ask for police help.

Domestic Violence Lawyers – Ringwood

If you’re experiencing the devastating effects of domestic violence, the family law specialists at Robert Wood and Associates can help you to examine your options and protect your family. We can assist you whether you have an enquiry or would just like someone to talk to. Reach out to us by calling 9762 3877 or visit our office today.

We can help you with a diverse range of legal solutions

Dedicated to providing fully tailored and compassionate advice and services, our friendly team of legal experts offer you expertise across many aspects of law including:

Your Choice for Melbourne Solicitors

If you need professional, high quality legal advice from a law firm that puts your interests first, then Robert Wood and Associates is the right choice for you.

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