Family Law Library

Family violence (domestic violence)

Family violence and abuse are unfortunately a part of some relationships. When the relationship ends, or appears to be ending the violence may intensify. You do not need to live with violence, if you or your children are enduring abuse or family violence seek help from the police or your lawyer.

Family violence is harmful behaviour that is used to control, threaten, force or dominate a family member through fear. It includes:

  • physical abuse, such as hitting or pushing a person around,
  • sexual abuse, such as forcing a person to have sex,
  • emotional or psychological abuse, such as controlling who a person can see and when, or calling them names or
  • financial abuse, such as controlling a person’s money.

Family violence is also behaviour that makes a family member fear for the safety of:

  • their property,
  • another person or
  • an animal.

If a child hears, sees or is around family violence in any way, they are also covered by the law. This includes if a child:

  • helps a family member who has been abused,
  • sees damaged property in the family home or
  • is at a family violence incident when the police arrive.

Under family violence law, family members are:

  • people who share an intimate personal relationship,
  • parents and children, including children of an intimate partner,
  • relatives by birth, marriage or adoption or
  • people you treat like a family member – for example, a carer, guardian or person who is related to you within the family structure of your culture.

The law also protects a person from anyone who was a family member in the past.

State laws make provision for your personal safety, and can protect you from family violence or spousal abuse. If, for any reason, you fear for your own safety or the safety of your children, the lawyers at Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists Melbourne can help you to find protection from family violence. We can advise on the forms of Apprehended Violence Orders available and help you obtain an order appropriate to your circumstances and adequate for your protection. We can also advise on the effect of an AVO on post separation parenting.

If you are facing unwarranted accusations of family violence or abuse we can advise you on your options and assist you in defending the allegations.

Mathews Family Law is a leading family law firm in Melbourne. Please contact us on +61 3 9804 7991 to speak with our family and divorce lawyers  today. You can also send through your enquiry online now and we will contact you shortly.