2.2 million Australians have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner and 3.6 million Australians have experience emotional abuse from a partner – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Personal Safety Survey. About 2.2 million Australians have experienced sexual violence since as early as 15 years of age.
These statistics indicate the magnitude and the seriousness of domestic violence in Australia.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence (DV) mostly constitutes of physical abuse. It can also be emotional and psychological. DV occurs when someone who has a domestic relationship or a close personal relationship with you makes you feel intimidated, afraid, powerless or unsafe.
Forms of Domestic Abuse
Verbal abuse – name calling, shouting in an intimidating manner, cursing
Physical abuse – threats of self/physical injury, hurting pets, smashing things
Financial abuse – unfair control of money; refusing to pay for your care/ child’s care
Emotional and psychological abuse – causing shame and disgrace, humiliation, insinuating put downs and blaming
Stalking – making excessive phone calls, texts or emails, following you wherever you go
Social abuse – putting restrictions or controlling where you go and who you meet
Sexual abuse and rape
Spiritual or cultural abuse – controlling practices or choices
How to Deal with DV if You are a Victim
Report DV to Police
If you are a victim of DV report it to police immediately. They are obliged to help you. If you can provide sufficient evidence of assault or any other violent offences, police will put criminal charges on the alleged offender.
How is a Case of Domestic Violence Investigated by Police?
Previously, matters of DV was investigated by NSW Police in much the same way as any other reported crime – by recording either hand written or typed statements from alleged victims.
Following amendments to legislation, NSW Police now use ‘Domestic Violence Evidence Kits’ (DVEC). These kits include video cameras, digital cameras and voice recorders. Police now use these devices to video record statements from alleged victims. Though the alleged victim will still need to attend court, that recording can be played as their ‘evidence’ at court. This often provides very convincing evidence.
How to Deal with DV if You are Charged for Domestic Violence
If you are charged with or convicted for DV offence it will be recorded on your criminal record as “dv offence”. You will usually also be served a final apprehended violence order (AVO) by a court. An AVO is a court order that restricts or limits your conduct and behaviour in certain ways.
What Happens if You Breach an AVO?
Breaching an AVO is a criminal offence, particularly if the breach involves any form of violence. In case of violence. The convicted person must be sentenced to imprisonment, unless a court orders otherwise.
What should you do?
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offence you should immediately contact reputed criminal lawyers for expert advice. Reputable law firms such as Astor Legal offers Free Case Evaluation and fixed fees for most of their services.