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Crimes Family Violence

By Catherine O’Bryan

Crimes Family Violence is the legal term describing violence in the home between family members or former domestic partners.

Regrettably, violence within the home is prevalent within our community.

Many factors can contribute to family violence including:-
-Financial pressure as a result of job loss or increasing debt;
-Alcohol;
-Drugs;
-Emotional strain through relationship breakdown;
-Cultural differences created by a move to Australia from another country.

The existence of some or all of these factors can result in conflict which either gradually, or in the heat of the moment, can result in violence and harm to loved ones.

Sometimes, similar disputes can arise between yourself and others in the community not related to you, ie. your neighbour or former friends. Emotions can run high, again causing conflict resulting in abuse, intimidation and violence.

If you are a victim of such violence, it is important that you contact police immediately to protect your own safety.

If, however, you are the person who inflicts such violence or if you have been accused of inflicting such violence, you may be arrested by the police and taken to the nearest police station . You may be asked to participate in a Record of Interview. Specific advice about participating in a Record of Interview can be found on our website.

The police may assist the victim by applying to the Court for a Personal Safety Notice and then an Intervention Order. You may be served with such a Notice or Application.

These are civil orders which may prevent you from contacting the victim ( affected family member (AFM) or affected member (AM).)

The laws governing this area are found in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 and the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010.

It is important that you are aware of how to respond to such a Notice or Application for an Order and what are your rights.

The police may also charge you with criminal offences . Offences of assault are generally governed by the Summary Offences Act 1966 and the Crimes Act 1958.

It is important that you obtain legal advice before attending Court, either for responding to an application for an intervention order or responding by accepting or defending criminal charges against you.

Once a Notice or Order is in place a Breach by you of the conditions is a Criminal Offence.

Proceedings for criminal charges can result in you receiving a Criminal Record and serious penalties.

How you respond to an Application for an Intervention Order could have a bearing on how your criminal charges are dealt with by a Court. It is important that you are aware of your legal rights and responsibilities.

Criminal lawyers at Galbally & O’Bryan appear regularly at Local Courts in Crimes Family Violence and Personal Safety matters.

We can provide you with general advice and also represent you at Court to ensure your involvement in the criminal justice system, and in the Crimes Family Violence and Personal Safety Division of the Court, runs smoothly and the best outcome is achieved for you and your family.

Sound advice and a well prepared case can have a positive bearing on such an outcome.

Dandenong Magistrates Court is a Court that operates daily in Crimes Family Violence and Personal Safety Intervention Order matters and related criminal proceedings.

We have an office directly opposite this Court for your convenience. We can also attend, or arrange representation, at any Magistrates Court throughout the State of Victoria.

We invite you to contact Ms Cathy O’Bryan on 03 9769 2510 or by email to assist you in these matters.