Domestic Violence (or Family Violence)
Domestic Violence (also called Family Violence) is a feature of many parenting and property cases and is something that is getting a lot of attention both in the media and in the Courts.
For people who have lived in abusive relationships, it can shape every aspect of their lives. It provides the backdrop to everything they do in their lives, and in family law it can be the most important (and often unspoken) part that informs every decision made in a matter. Violence isn’t just about physical violence. It involves abuse, manipulation, degrading behaviour and language, financial restrictions and control. It’s about not doing, saying, even thinking or feeling they way that you would because of how someone might react. It goes beyond the compromises and adjustments everyone makes in relationships and is about inequality and fear.
We have specialist lawyers who understand the impact and consequences of violence. On our team, we also have a psychologist and child specialist who can work with our clients to help them through the process if that’s what’s best or who can work with us to make sure that we manage the process in the best possible way.
We believe that having been in a violent relationship shouldn’t mean that the only option is an expensive and difficult fight in Court. We can help tailor a process for that is understanding, supportive and empowering and that doesn’t condemn someone to be a victim, but allows them to have their own voice heard and their own outcome. That approach doesn’t work for everyone and in some cases, the history of violence means litigation is the only option. Doing it properly is especially important in a context of violence to make sure that the vulnerable party’s rights are protected, to make sure that where violence is relevant at law that it is listened to and taken seriously by the Courts and by the experts.
The fact that we understand the reality of living with violence means that we can help in a way that is sensitive, but effective, to help you to negotiate, to help you litigate or to help you get an order for your protection (called an IVO in Victoria).