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Very Bad Relationships

We all have the right to live without fear or the threat of violence.

If you are experiencing violence or any other form of abuse in a relationship, you can get help.

You have the legal right to apply for a domestic violence order, an urgent temporary protection order, or you can ask the police to press charges against the offender.

You can apply for a domestic violence order at a Magistrate’s Court, or there are numerous organisations to help you in the process. A lawyer or a police officer can also help with the application. Children can also be included on a domestic violence order.

If you believe your safety is at risk, an application can be made for an urgent temporary protection order. You will then go to court, and the protection will apply before the respondent is informed. Shortly after, you will both have to front a Magistrate to sort out the situation. It is advisable that you have legal representation.

If you seek help from the police, and they have reasonable grounds : they can charge the respondent with a criminal offence, or they can issue a protection notice which takes effect immediately. The police also have the power to take the offender into custody.

Keep in mind, if you decide to renew your relationship with the respondent, you should get legal advice about having the DVO changed. Whether or not it is, is a matter not for you to decide.

Domestic and family violence can occur from a husband or wife, a partner, a parent, a relative , a child, a carer. It can take many forms: physical or sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse, economic abuse, threatening or dominating behaviour.

This can include: Physical injury or threat to injure. Phoning, texting or emailing. Damaging or threats to damage your property. Unauthorised surveillance or stalking, including use of social media. Unwelcome sexual activity. Withholding legal or financial powers.

If you happen to be the respondent, and have a protection order taken out against you, you also should get legal advice as you will likely end up in court. There are support services available to give you advice. Conditions of an order are serious, and if breached, can constitute a criminal offence.

If a court makes or varies a domestic violence order, it can also make a voluntary intervention order requiring the respondent to attend an intervention program, or have counselling to address their behaviour. This order can only be made if the respondent is present in court, and agrees to comply with the order.

You may need legal advice if:

* You , or your children are at risk of violence or abuse.
* You need help to leave a relationship safely.
* You want to apply for a domestic violence order.
* You have been issued with a police protection notice.
* You or your partner, have been issued with a domestic violence order.
* You wish to withdraw or alter a domestic violence order.
* You have been asked to attend family dispute resolution, but are concerned about your safety.

(The preceding advice applies in Queensland, other states may differ.)