New laws were introduced in Queensland in 2012 to provide protection to people who experience violence in a domestic or family situation

A Domestic Violence Protection Order is a civil order that prevents the person whom the order is taken out againstthe respondent from acting violent towards anyone named in the order.  It does this by stating rules and conditions that the respondent must obey.  If they don’t follow these conditions and breach what the order says, there are serious criminal consequences that can lead to imprisonment.

Domestic Violence is defined in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 as:

“behavior by a person towards another person with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship that is physically, sexually, emotionally, psychologically or economically abusive, threatening, coercive or in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for the second person’s safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.”

The police play a paramount role in protection orders as they are often the first to respond to incidences of domestic and family violence.

Under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, police have the power to issue a protection notice when attending a DV incident and they reasonably believe that domestic violence occurred.

The police protection notice is taken to be an application for a protection order, to be determined in the Magistrates Court at a later date. Police may also impose the following ‘cool down’ conditions if they believe it is necessary and desirable to do so:

(a)    that the respondent is prohibited from entering (or attempting to enter, or remain at) a stated premise, or approaching within a distance of stated premises;

(b)    that the respondent is prohibited from approaching (or attempting to approach) within a stated distance of the aggrieved; and

(c)    that the respondent is prohibited from contacting (attempting to contact, or asking someone else to contact) the aggrieved.

Police also have the power to apply to the court for a protection order or a variation of an existing protection order.

A domestic violence protection order is a civil order, which means that you are not charged with a criminal offence unless you breach the order.  You must follow the conditions set out in the protection order.  If you breach the conditions in the order, the police can charge you with a criminal offence where you will face serious penalties.

Section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 makes it an offence to breach the conditions of a protection order if the respondent against whom a domestic violence order has been made:(a) was present in court when the order was made; or(b) has been served with a copy of the order; or(c) has been told by a police officer about the existence of the order.

You should obtain legal advice if there is a domestic violence protection order made against you.  If a domestic violence order is made against you, it may affect any licenses and other cards you hold, including weapons and security licenses.

The conditions of an order or notice are very serious and it is important to obtain legal advice to fully understand the conditions imposed against you.  Breaching a domestic violence protection order (including any temporary orders or police protection notices) is a serious criminal offence. If you are found guilty of breaching a protection order, you could face serious penalties, including terms of imprisonment.

The Gold Coast was one of the first cities in Queensland to establish a Specialist Domestic Violence Court model.

This has brought a greater awareness to domestic violence as an issue that can affect people from many different walks of life.  Our solicitors are experienced in identifying and providing advice and assistance about domestic violence.

Examples of behavior that constitutes domestic violence includes: –

injuring (or threatening to injure) you (e.g. punching, strangling, pushing, slapping, grabbing your throat, pulling your hair, or twisting your arms)

repeatedly contacting you without your consent (e.g. calling, texting, emailing, or contacting you on social networking sites)

damaging (or threatening to damage) your property (e.g. punching holes in the walls or breaking plates)

stalking you, following you, or remaining outside your house or place of work

monitoring you without your consent (e.g. reading your text messages, your email account, your internet browser history, your social networking sites)

putting you down or make racial taunts

holding you against your will

forcing you to engage in sexual activities without your consent

getting someone else to injure, intimidate, harass or threaten you, or damage your property

threatening to commit suicide or self-harm to scare you

threatening you with the death or harm of another person

threatening to withdraw their care of you if you don’t do something

coercing or forcing you to give them your Centrelink or other payments

forcing you (without your consent and against your will) to sign a power of attorney to them to allow them to manage your finances

threatening to disclose your sexual orientation to your friends or family without your consent

preventing you from making or maintaining connections with your family, friends or culture, including cultural or spiritual ceremonies or practices.

Domestic violence lawyer understands survivors of domestic violence experience significant trauma during this difficult court process.

Domestic violence lawyer Gold Coast makes every effort to provide advice in a timely and client-focused manner. They also acknowledge that those who have allegations made against them require tailored, realistic and respectful advice that provides them with all the options that may be available in the circumstances.

Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.

Survivors of domestic violence face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.

Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.

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