Domestic Violence is on the rise – What you can do, if you are in an abusive relationship
A recent Fairfax Media investigation found that domestic violence is responsible for about two in five of all homicides and deaths in New South Wales. New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione was reported saying that New South Wales police deal with about 370 instances of domestic and family violence every day!
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.
The statistics and the recent trial of Simon Gittany, for the murder of his fiance in which he was found guilty of throwing her off their high rise balcony are chilling. In sentencing Gittany the Judge held that from the start of their relationship, Gittany had exhibited a burning need to control virtually every aspect of his fiancé’s life, including how she dressed and where she went. When Gittany found out that his fiancé was leaving him he flew into a possessive rage, knocked her unconscious and tipped her over the balcony.
But reading the news and looking at the statistics is not much help if you are the one in an abusive relationship. If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to know that there are legal avenues available to protect you.
These legal avenues include obtaining an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO’s). This is a Court order, that your partner must not assault, molest, harass or threaten you and that they must not reside at the premises where you live or work. As a general rule any children you have, will be included on the ADVO to ensure their safety.
It is important to be aware that having an ADVO in place, does not mean that your partner has been charged with an offence. Your partner will suffer no adverse consequences from having the ADVO in place unless they breach the ADVO. A breach of an ADVO is a criminal offence.
The legal system also strives to protect victims of domestic violence in other areas. The requirement to attend family court mediation, prior to making an application to the Family Court does not apply if there is family violence. This means that you do not have to sit down with your partner and attempt to resolve any dispute over children or property. For your safety, you can make applications directly to the Family Court. In addition, the Family Law Act removes the presumption that both parents will be jointly responsible for their children, where there is family violence or domestic abuse.
If you are in an abusive relationship you need to be aware of the legal avenues in place to protect you.
If you are in an abusive relationship and need strong, practical and effective legal advice, call Frank Boitano at Barwick Boitano today on (02) 9630 0444 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.